Unvaccinated Djokovic out of US Open Because He Can’t Enter US

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
August 25, 2022 Updated: August 25, 2022

Novak Djokovic, the 21-time Grand Slam champion, said he has withdrawn from the U.S. Open because of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine-related travel restrictions.

“Sadly, I will not be able to travel to NY this time for US Open,” Djokovic wrote on Twitter. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support.  Good luck to my fellow players! I’ll keep in good shape and positive spirit and wait for an opportunity to compete again.  See you soon tennis world!”

Djokovic had said he hoped the United States would change its restrictive travel policies after winning Wimbledon in July 2022.

The tennis star said he’s contracted COVID-19 and has been adamant in his refusal to take the vaccine. He has argued that it should be a personal decision, not a mandate.

Since October 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has required non-citizens and non-green card holders to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering the country.

“If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country,” the agency’s website said as of July 14.

That directive was authorized by President Joe Biden “to suspend and limit entry into the United States for non-U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants … seeking to enter the United States by air travel and are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

It’s not clear when or if the Biden administration will change the COVID-19 vaccine travel requirement. But in recent weeks, the CDC has revised its domestic guidance and has increasingly begun to treat vaccinated and unvaccinated people the same in terms of whether or not individuals should quarantine after COVID-19 exposure.

In the revised guidance released Aug. 11, the CDC explicitly said that people with a prior infection have protection against severe illness, and it also removed the six-foot social distancing advice that had been used since the early days of the pandemic.

The U.S. Open is scheduled to start next week in Flushing Meadows, New York City.

Djokovic also missed the Australian Open this year following a dispute over the country’s restrictive COVID-19 rules.

Meanwhile, when asked last year if the administration will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.–Mexico border, then-press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the federal government will not require them.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.