In the early hours of Thursday morning, World No1 and defending Australian champion Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia after his visa was cancelled by border force officials at Melbourne airport. Djokovic was granted a controversial exemption to enter Australia and compete in the Australian Open, but was held up at Melbourne airport by authorities for several hours before his visa was cancelled. Djokovic, who has publicly criticised mandatory vaccines, has refused to disclose his inoculation status and said he had been granted a medical exemption to compete in Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he “didn’t have a valid medical exemption” to the vaccination requirement for all arrivals.
“Entry with a visa requires double vaccination or a medical exemption,” Morrison said. “I am advised that such an exemption was not in place, and as a result, he is subject to the same rules as everyone else.”
“There are many visas granted, if you have a visa and you’re double vaccinated you’re very welcome to come here,” he added.
Djokovic’s appeal against his visa cancellation in Australia has been adjourned until Monday, with the Serb to remain in Melbourne quarantine until then.
Djokovic’s legal team sought an urgent injunction against the Australian Border Forces’ decision to revoke his visa.
Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić said the country had offered support to the world No 1. “I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world’s best tennis player is brought to an end immediately,” he said in a statement.