The French government, which a few days ago pointed out that Novak Djokovic could play Roland Garros even if he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, has rectified and warns that all those competing will have to have the full pattern, as will be required of the public and all professionals involved. A new setback for Novak, who has just been deported from Australia and will not be able to participate in the first Grand Slam of the season.
The rectification has come from the hand of the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, hours after the French Parliament finally adopted the bill that will impose a vaccination certificate for many activities of social life, including attending sporting events.
In a message on Twitter, Maracineanu said that this health certificate has been adopted, so that “from the moment the law is enacted, it will be obligatory to enter the spaces already subject to the sanitary passport (stadiums, theatres or salons) for all spectators, practitioners, professionals, French or foreign”.
The minister took the opportunity to thank the sports movement for its action of “conviction of the last few not vaccinated” and insisted that both now intend to work together to “preserve the competitions” and promote the vaccination passport “at the international level”.
It had been Maracineanu herself who on 7 January, in the midst of political and judicial litigation in Australia over the presence of Djokovic despite his refusal to be vaccinated, had pointed out that the Serb could indeed play in Roland Garros, scheduled between the end of May and the beginning of June.
The French head of Sports then argued that France would apply an exception to the requirement of the vaccination certificate to athletes in international competitions, so that they would not be subject to the new French rules and would be able to compete even without being immunised.
She justified it with the argument that international competitions are governed by the “mandatory protocols imposed by the federations” which, according to her, would be above the French regulations.
Unlike in Australia, entry into France does not require a full vaccination schedule. You can arrive in the country with a health passport that proves to have a negative test in place.
However, the bill on the vaccination certificate that is due to come into force later this week is going to impose it to have a drink in a bar or a restaurant, to go to the movies, to a show or to a stadium, but also to use long-distance public transport such as buses, trains, planes or boats.