Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa over COVID-19 vaccine coverage

Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa was canceled Wednesday after he “failed to supply applicable proof to satisfy the entry necessities to Australia,” the nation’s border drive introduced. The tennis star had been caught in an Australian airport as officers tried to work by means of points associated to his COVID-19 vaccine exemption for the upcoming Australian Open, Reuters reported.

“Non-citizens who don’t maintain a sound visa on entry or who’ve had their visa cancelled will likely be detained and faraway from Australia,” the border drive stated. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison additionally spoke in regards to the resolution, tweeting that “Guidelines are guidelines, particularly relating to our borders.”

“Nobody is above these guidelines,”  he wrote. “Our sturdy border insurance policies have been crucial to Australia having one of many lowest demise charges on the planet from COVID, we’re persevering with to be vigilant.”

On Tuesday, Djokovic introduced that he had been granted a medical exemption for the Open — a call that rapidly sparked backlash in Australia. Djokovic has not publicly disclosed whether or not he has been vaccinated. 

Match officers stated in a press release that he was granted the medical exemption after a “rigorous overview course of” that included two separate unbiased panels of consultants, that are made up of medical doctors from immunology, infectious illness and common observe.

However when Djokovic arrived in Australia on Wednesday, officers realized that his workforce had utilized for a sort of visa that doesn’t allow vaccine exemptions, Reuters reported. The performing sports activities minister within the state of Victoria — which holds the Open — stated the state wouldn’t assist Djokovic’s visa software and deferred to the federal authorities on whether or not to permit the tennis star within the nation.

Djokovic’s potential to enter the nation is now within the arms of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, based on Reuters. Earlier Wednesday, Morrison had stated that Djokovic wanted to supply “acceptable proof that he can’t be vaccinated for medical causes” earlier than getting into the nation. 

“If that proof is inadequate, then he will not be handled any totally different to anybody else and he’ll be on the subsequent airplane house,” Morrison stated on the time.

A Serbian tennis fan waves a flag as he awaits the arrival of Serbia’s tennis champion Novak Djokovic in Melbourne on Thursday. After arriving in Melbourne late on Wednesday, world primary Novak Djokovic could have encountered a late snag on his journey to play within the Australian Open, after state authorities officers refused to assist his visa software.

WILLIAM WEST/AFP by way of Getty Photos

Whereas some fellow tennis gamers welcomed Djokovic’s return to the Australian Open, ladies’s prime ranked tennis participant and Australian Ashleigh Barty stated she understands why persons are “pissed off” with the choice to permit him play. 

Australian Open director Craig Tiley stated gamers, followers and employees on the match should be totally vaccinated until there is a cause why an exemption must be granted.

The backlash in opposition to Djokovic’s exemption comes because the nation’s residents have handled strict COVID-related measures. In Melbourne, folks have spent greater than 260 days beneath lockdown for the reason that starting of the pandemic, based on the BBC. 

Djokovic has 9 Australian Open titles, and he received the final three. He’s at present in a three-way tie with tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for probably the most Grand Slam singles titles. 

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