The legal knot for Novak Djokovic’s situation in Australia has not yet been loosened. The visa of the number 1 in the world was revoked but he has not yet been deported, due to an appeal presented by his lawyers. These six points help to understand the complex situation of the Serbian player and if he will be able to play the Australian Open:
Yes. A medical panel from the Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) evaluated his request, considered the reasons he explained for not meeting the sanitary requirements and they were accepted. In this way, he was granted a medical exemption to participate in the first Grand Slam of the year, in Melbourne, between January 15 and 31.
Migrations detected that there was an administrative error in his visa application. “Mr. Djokovic did not provide adequate evidence to meet Australia entry requirements and his visa was canceled,” the Australian Border Force announced in a statement. The type of visa required does not allow foreigners to enter Australia without having been vaccinated. For this reason, he was initially isolated in a room at the Melbourne airport and then transferred to a hotel, where he is held incommunicado and under the control of local authorities.
He spoke out against that possibility publicly, but never made it known. The request for a special permit allows to infer that he is not vaccinated. There is a gray area in the reasons for not getting vaccinated. One of them is having a severe health condition. The australian newspaper The Age reported that the reason that Djokovic would have reported as a severe condition, which would allow him the medical exemption to not be vaccinated is that he had recently contracted Covid-19. The player refuses to communicate his status publicly and relies on his privacy.
The Australian Department of Health, faced with the scandal that broke out, warned Tennis Australia that people who had Covid-19 and did not receive at least one dose of the vaccine are not considered fully vaccinated. Therefore, they cannot be allowed into the country. Even with the medical exemption (and if the court accepts the visa error), you should do a 7-day quarantine.
In the first hearing to try to revoke the visa cancellation, the Serbian’s lawyers managed to postpone the deportation. Government attorney Christopher Tran said the final decision will be made at a new hearing next Monday.
However, there are versions that indicate another possibility: that migrations press for their deportation right now (in the Australian night) or tomorrow morning.
Legally, there is also the possibility that Djokovic asks for his deportation to stop being held by the authorities, but that does not seem to be the intention of the Serb at the moment.
Judge Anthony Kelly, who has to rule on the validation of Djokovic’s visa, spoke at the request of the player’s lawyers that the measure be taken before the tournament begins. In this regard, he commented: “There is the possibility that this court will receive an endless cascade of appeals.” And with some irony, he clarified: “I don’t want to hear from you at midnight on Saturday because someone has had an idea,” according to journalist Stephanie Ferrier, of Victoria’s ABC News.
If the Australian justice rules in his favor at the hearing next Monday, he will still be in time to participate in the tournament because he has the medical permission to do so.
It is not possible to affirm it. But the reaction of the Australian political class against the Serbian player’s participation aroused those suspicions. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would fly Djokovic home if the doctors’ decision was not justified, information that is secret. In an unexpected twist, the medical permit was not canceled, but a way was found to bar her from entering her visa. Morrison said: “The rules are the rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above your standards. Our strict border policies have been the key to Australia having one of the lowest coronavirus death rates in the world. We continue to be attentive ”.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spoke out against the Australian government’s decision. He said that he had a conversation with the player (although it is mentioned that he was incommunicado) and demanded that public international law be complied with. “Serbia will fight for Djokovic, for justice and for the truth. Novak is strong ”, exclaimed the president.