Novak Djokovic is currently unable to play in the upcoming US Open but on Friday, America did relax some Covid-19 guidance, with an update on travel restrictions set to follow.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner has been included on the entry list for the tournament but due to his decision not to get vaccinated against the virus, is set to be refused entry into the country.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is responsible for the health and safety of US residents, has issued new guidance relaxing rules regarding social distancing and quarantine.
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The CDC has not as yet updated its travel advice, which currently states that all non-US citizens and nationals must be fully vaccinated before entering the country, although its website does state that this is under review following the latest update.
A statement read: “This updated guidance is intended to apply to community settings. In the coming weeks, CDC will work to align stand-alone guidance documents, such as those for healthcare settings, congregate settings at higher risk of transmission, and travel, with today’s update.”
In June, the CDC said that it “will no longer require air passengers travelling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative Covid-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from Covid-19 before they board their flight.” However vaccinations are required.
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Djokovic’s vaccination status has already disrupted his 2022 season after he was denied entry into Australia in January and subsequently missed the Australian Open.
The rules have also meant he has missed the start of the North American swing and the events ahead of the final major of the year at Flushing Meadows, which begins on August 29.
There are no plans to grant Djokovic, or anyone, an exemption to the vaccination rules, with the United States Tennis Association saying it will adhere to the government stance on the matter.
In June, the USTA stated: "Per the Grand Slam Rule Book, all eligible players are automatically entered into the men's and women's singles main draw fields based on ranking 42 days prior to the first Monday of the event.
"The US Open does not have a vaccination mandate in place for players, but it will respect the US government's position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens."
Djokovic himself has previously said that he still hopes to participate but only if he is allowed, and he has no plans to get the vaccine in order to do so.
“I'm not going to go to America if I don't have permission, so the Australian saga for me was not pleasant at all,” he said in July.
“I have my stance and I am a proponent for freedom to choose what is best for you. I respect everything and everybody, and I expect people to at least respect my decision.
“If I have permission, I'll be there. If I don't, I won't be there - it's not the end of the world.”
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