Kanye West: Australian PM issues strict warning for Ye to be fully vaccinated before tour

‘Follow the rules - you can come. You don’t follow the rules, you can’t,’ Australian PM Scott Morrison said

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 31 January 2022 05:21 GMT
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Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has said Kanye West will have to be fully vaccinated if he wants to perform in the country.

Mr Morrison made the announcement on Saturday after media reports said the hip-hop artist legally known as Ye was planning to perform across Australia in March 2022.

Discussing West’s forthcoming tour down under, Morrison told a news conference that the country’s vaccine rules apply to everybody “as people have seen most recently”, referring to the recent situation involving tennis superstar Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic was withheld from competing in the ongoing Australian Open after a court ruled in favour of the government’s decision to cancel his visa over his unvaccinated status.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, they are the rules,” Morrison told media on Saturday. “Follow the rules, you can come. You don’t follow the rules, you can’t.”

On Friday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the rapper planned to play stadium concerts in Australia, citing industry sources. The singer’s representatives were not immediately available for comment, and his vaccination status is unknown.

During a 2021 interview on social media, West said he had received one vaccine dose, but in a 2020 interview with business magazine Forbes, he had compared getting vaccinated with “the mark of the beast”.

Australia, which has one of the highest rates of vaccination globally, has been battling an explosive wave of infections in the past month caused by the Omicron variant, with about 2 million cases recorded.

Before that, it had reported just 400,000 cases since the pandemic first hit nearly two years ago.

Australia’s trade and tourism minister Dan Tehan said immigration minister Alex Hawke would take a decision on the singer’s visa, adding that Mr Hawke would consider his “application like he does for other visa applications”.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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