Friday, January 21

“His visa application must be refused”: the Australian government remains firm with regard to Novak Djokovic

The countdown begins. Novak Djokovic will know, this Monday, the verdict of his legal appeal filed after the cancellation of his visa on his arrival in Australia. And a few hours before the public hearing in federal court, the Australian government expressed its firmness vis-à-vis the world No. 1 in tennis.

In 13-page long conclusions, Australian government lawyers recalled that the Serbian “is not vaccinated against Covid-19”, which is mandatory to enter the country, while recalling that unvaccinated people are more likely to infect other people and therefore increase the workload of health systems. “This visa application must be refused”, they insisted.

Novak Djokovic had obtained a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open (January 17-30) from the organizers and flew to Melbourne in the middle of last week. But when he arrived at the airport, he had seen his visa canceled by the authorities before being placed in an establishment for illegal refugees. His lawyers explained that he had obtained his exemption from compulsory vaccination on the grounds of a positive Covid-19 test on December 16 in Serbia, he who had already been infected in June 2020.

But, according to the Australian federal authorities’ vaccination exemption forms, a previous Covid-19 infection is not a valid reason to enter the country without being vaccinated. And this reason is all the more fragile as Djokovic participated in several public events the following days, without wearing a mask. If it is difficult to know what will be the outcome of this affair, in view of its scale taken for several days, Novak Djokovic will not benefit from any preferential treatment. As from the beginning …

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