How Novak Djokovic could compete at the 2023 Australian Open despite being barred from the country for THREE YEARS over anti-vax drama
The world No3 was at the centre of a diplomatic storm back in January, when he was deported for not complying with the vaccination restrictions that were in place back then.
Djokovic, who was unvaccinated against Covid-19, had his visa cancelled twice in January after arriving in Australia ahead of the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic could return to Melbourne Park next year despite being banned from applying for a visa to enter Australia for three years
The Serb won one court challenge to be allowed to play at Melbourne Park, but was ultimately deported after his second challenge failed.
Under Australian law, foreign citizens who are deported are also barred from applying for a new for three years.
However, according to ABC, Djokovic could be back in Australia as early as this summer after the new Labor has relaxed its rules on international arrivals.
Health Minister Mark Butler said over the weekend that from July 6 foreign travellers will no longer having to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status upon entering Australia.
Djokovic was detained by Border Force upon his arrival at Melbourne Airport in January
His visa was cancelled, reinstated and eventually cancelled again before he was deported
ABC added Djokovic’s team have been made aware of the changes in circumstances and it is believed they are planning to apply for a new visa, on grounds the reasons for the visa cancellation no longer apply.
Djokovic headed to Melbourne looking to win a fourth consecutive Australian Open title after being granted a visa to enter Australia in January.
While the 35-year-old was not vaccinated against Covid-19, he was classified as exempt under Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation guidelines as he had received a certificate from Serbia’s health authority confirming he had recently recovered from the virus.
The Serbian has reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon this year
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, however, was detained by Border Force after arriving at Melbourne Airport and has his visa cancelled, despite the fact the government acknowledged he was a ‘negligible health risk’ to Australians.
Confined in isolation in a hotel in Melbourne, Djokovic was granted a temporary reprieve after the cancellation was overturned in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.
His visa was cancelled a second time after the government successfully argued a public figure of Djokovic’s profile could stoke up anti-vaccine sentiments in parts of the Australian community.