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Visa Cancelled, Australian Government Responds To Djokovic Paperwork

Visa Cancelled, Australian Government Responds To Djokovic Paperwork

Following the announcement world no.1 tennis player, Novak Djokovic in the last 48 hours received a medical exemption from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination in order to compete in the upcoming Australian Open, the Australian Government has issued a response.

Novak Djokovic’s Visa has reportedly been cancelled amid speculation he was unable to provide he is eligible for a vaccination exemption to enter Australia and currently waiting  to seek appeal with the Victorian Government.

As of yesterday, Australian Home Affairs Minister, Karen Andrews, said while the exemption was granted after two separate independent panels of medical experts, Tennis Australia and Victorian Government, reviewed Djokovic’s application, unvaccinated people without legitimate exemptions may be turned around by border authorities.

“Any individual seeking to enter Australia must comply with our strict border requirements,” Andrews said.

“While the Victorian Government and Tennis Australia may permit a non-vaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth Government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border.

“Since 15 December 2021 fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption, and enter eligible states and territories quarantine free.

“If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travellers.

“Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our strict border requirements.

“No individual competing at the Australian Open will be afforded any special treatment.

“Quarantine requirements for international arrivals in Victoria, including for non-vaccinated individuals, are a matter for the Victorian government,” she said.

With unvaccinated arrivals without legitimate exemptions required to be placed in 14-day mandatory quarantine, and the Australian Open due to begin on 17 January, if required to quarantine, Djokovic would ultimately miss the first Grand Slam of 2022.

Despite the public outrage at Djokovic’s exemption and calls for the athlete to explain his medical reasons for the exemption, Tennis Australia chief medical officer, Carolyn Broderick, said the most likely cause of exemption is Djokovic testing positive for COVID-19 in the past six months.

“I can’t comment on our group, but if you look at an Australian group of people applying for medical exemption, the vast majority are recent COVID,” Broderick said.

Defending the exemption, Victorian Government minister, Jaala Pulford, said it would have been impossible for the independent panels to know his name, age, or country of origin when reviewing the applications.

“Novak (Djokovic) isn’t coming to play the Australian Open because he’s the biggest tennis star of them all,” Pulford said.

“He’s coming because he has been able to demonstrate through this process that he has an eligibility under the rules that apply to everybody else in the country.

“Lots of people in the Victorian community will find this to be a disappointing outcome but the process is the process,” she said.

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