PARIS (AP) — Top-ranked player Novak Djokovic could be allowed to defend his French Open title under the latest COVID-19 rules adopted by the French government, even if he is still not vaccinated when the clay-court Grand Slam starts in May.
Djokovic was deported from Australia and barred from playing in the Australian Open this month for not meeting the country’s strict COVID-19 vaccination rules.
It initially appeared that the Serb tennis star would not be welcomed at Roland Garros either under a new law intended to exclude the unvaccinated from stadiums, restaurants, bars and other public places.
As questions quickly arose about Djokovic’s status in France following his deportation from Australia, Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu previously said that as soon as the law was passed the country’s vaccine pass would become compulsory to enter stadiums, theater or exhibitions, “for all spectators, practitioners, French or foreign professionals.”
But the vaccine pass is not restricted to vaccination.
Under the law that took effect on Monday, anyone who has proof they tested positive within the previous six months is exempt from having to show a vaccine pass. That suggests Djokovic could play in the French Open in May and June, the next Grand Slam tournament, because he has said he tested positive in mid-December.