Tennis star Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia over vaccine exemption

Novak Djokovic’s likelihood to play for a tenth Australian Open title used to be thrown into limbo early Thursday when the rustic denied him entry and cancelled his visa as a result of he did not meet the necessities for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules.

the top-ranked Djokovic landed in Australia past due Wednesday after receiving a clinical exemption from the Victoria state govt that may defend him from the strict vaccination rules in position for this year’s first major tennis tournament, which begins Jan. 17.

However border government did not settle for the exemption. The Australian Border Force issued a statement pronouncing Djokovic didn’t meet entry necessities.

Health Minister Greg Hunt mentioned the visa cancellation adopted a overview of Djokovic’s medical exemption by means of border officers who appeared “on the integrity and the proof behind it.”

The president of Djokovic’s local Serbia’s blasted the “harassment” of the famous person, who was detained in a single day at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. The 20-time leading winner had to wait greater than 8 hours on the airport to search out out if he would be allowed into the rustic.

Australia’s High Minister Scott Morrison said no person was once above the foundations.

“Mr. Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, particularly whilst it involves our borders,” Morrison posted on Twitter. “no one is above these rules. Our robust border policies were essential to Australia having one among the lowest demise rates within the global from COVID, we’re continuing to be vigilant.”

Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are regulations, particularly whilst it involves our borders. nobody is above these rules. Our sturdy border policies have been crucial to Australia having one of the lowest loss of life rates in the international from COVID, we’re proceeding to be vigilant.


Hunt stated Djokovic used to be unfastened to appeal the verdict. “but if a visa is cancelled, any person will have to depart the country.”

Australian media said that Djokovic’s workforce carried out for the wrong type of visa.

The scientific exemption had been designed to allow Djokovic to play in the Australian Open, without reference to his vaccination status for COVID-19. He has spoken out towards vaccines in the earlier and has steadfastly refused to recognize whether he won any photographs in opposition to the coronavirus.

Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, advised the B92 web portal that his son was once held on the airport “in a room which nobody can enter” and guarded by way of two law enforcement officials.

Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open has been a sizzling political matter, with many Australians furious that he used to be granted an exemption to enter the rustic.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Instagram that he spoke to Djokovic while he used to be being held at the airport. He stated Serbian government were taking measures “so the harassment of the best tennis participant within the world be stopped within the shortest imaginable time.”

Hypothesis of a potential issue with the visa emerged while Djokovic used to be in transit and escalated with combined messages from federal and state lawmakers.

Djokovic’s revelation on social media that he was once heading to Australia in the hunt for a file twenty first best title sparked debate, with critics wondering what grounds he may have for the exemption and backers arguing that he has a right to privacy and freedom of choice.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended the “totally authentic utility and process” and insisted there was no unique treatment for Djokovic.

The Victoria state government mandated that best totally vaccinated players, team of workers, fanatics and officials may enter Melbourne Park whilst the event starts.

Best 26 people connected with the tournament applied for a clinical exemption and, Tiley stated, only a “handful” had been granted.

a number of the appropriate purposes for an exemption are acute prime health conditions, critical antagonistic reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine or proof of a COVID-19 an infection inside the previous six months.

Djokovic examined sure for the coronavirus in June 2020 after he performed in a chain of exhibition suits that he arranged in Serbia and Croatia without physical distancing amid the pandemic.

We’ve always been transparent on two issues: visa approvals are a question for the Federal Government, and clinical exemptions are an issue for medical doctors.



Considerations approximately Djokovic’s visa status took some time to circulate.

Morrison to begin with stated the clinical exemption resolution used to be a matter for the government of Victoria, the place Melbourne is the state capital.

“they have provided Djokovic with an exemption to return to Australia, and so we then act according with that,” Morrison mentioned. “States supply exemptions for individuals to enter on those basis, and that is the reason been going down for the final years.”

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews then clarified the border procedure.

“While the Victorian executive and Tennis Australia would possibly allow a non-vaccinated player to compete within the Australian Open, it’s the Commonwealth govt so we can implement our requirements on the Australian border,” Andrews mentioned. “If an arriving person isn’t vaccinated, they ought to supply applicable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for scientific purposes to find a way to access the similar trip arrangement as absolutely vaccinated travelers.”

Whilst requested again about Djokovic’s case later Wednesday, Morrison brought: “If that proof is insufficient, then he would possibly not be handled any other to any person else and he’ll be on the next airplane home.”

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