Novak Djokovic, a Serbian tennis player, should be deported from Australia after he did not provide enough evidence to justify entering the country, despite the fact that he was granted an exemption for medical reasons to play in the Australian Open this month without vaccination against Covid-19. .
Djokovic landed at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne overnight and was detained by the Australian border forces, which control immigration into the country. Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, has already warned that the tennis player will be “on the next plane home” if he cannot prove to the authorities why he is exempt from vaccination – a condition for entering Australia – while local media reports that he misreported visa application.
After several hours in custody, Djokovic – who had access to his phone – was told he would be deported on Thursday morning.
“ABF can confirm that Mr. Djokovic did not submit the appropriate evidence to meet the conditions for entry into Australia, and his visa was subsequently annulled,” the border forces said in a statement. “Non-citizens who do not have a valid visa on entry, or whose visa has been revoked, will be detained and removed from Australia.”
Morrison said on Wednesday, since the tennis player is already in the air on his way to the country, that Djovokic will have to prove why he was exempted from vaccination or could be rejected. “So there should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic. “Nothing,” he told reporters.
He added: “If the medical staff gave medical exceptions and it was given to him as a condition to get on that plane, well, that will have to accumulate when he arrives in Australia.”
Reuters reported that Djovokic would legally challenge the decision to revoke his visa and that he could remain in the country in quarantine until that is resolved.
Djokovic, the defender of the Australian Open title for men, opposed the mandatory vaccination against Covid-19. The decision to grant him an exemption to play at this event as an unvaccinated person provoked a furious response from health authorities and much of the Australian public. The number of Covids in the country jumped to record levels while the testing system was under pressure.
Tennis Australia said on Wednesday that the exemption was granted to Djokovic – who refused to confirm his vaccination status – following a “rigorous review process” by two independent panels of experts, including one appointed by the Victoria’s state health ministry. at which the Australian Open is held.
Happy New Year! I wish you all health, love and joy at all times and that you feel love and respect for all beings on this wonderful planet.
I spent a fantastic quality time with loved ones during the break and today I’m going Down Under with an exception. Let’s go 2022! pic.twitter.com/e688iSO2d4
– Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 4, 2022
However, the Australian government has issued a strong threat that the exemption will not guarantee his entry into Australia. Karen Andrews, the interior minister, said Djokovic and all players granted the exemption would have to provide “acceptable evidence” that they could not be vaccinated for medical reasons, according to other travelers entering Australia.
Craig Tiley, the tournament director, defended the decision to exclude Djokovic and several other players. He said officials had gone “above” the standard immigration process for unvaccinated travelers to Australia. “After all, it is a decision of medical experts,” he said.
He reiterated that other players, fans and staff at the tennis competition will have to be fully vaccinated “unless there is a real reason why an exemption should be given” to ensure the safety of participants.
That provoked a sharp reaction in Victoria. The state has recently come out of some of the world’s strictest isolation limits, while its government has ordered that some workers must be fully vaccinated.
Local media called Djokovic “Novax” and made comparisons with the restrictions imposed on English and Australian cricketers competing in the Ashes summer series in Australia.