Djokovic legal professionals say COVID an infection gave him Australia exemption

The males’s tennis world primary, Novak Djokovic, was given a COVID vaccine medical exemption to enter Australia as a result of he contracted the sickness final month, his legal professionals have argued in court docket paperwork.

Djokovic was denied entry on the Melbourne airport after border officers cancelled his visa for failing to satisfy its entry requirement that each one non-citizens be totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

In a court docket submitting on Saturday earlier than a listening to on Monday over his visa cancellation, Djokovic mentioned he had obtained the exemption from match organiser Tennis Australia, with a follow-up letter from the Department of Home Affairs saying he was allowed into the nation.

The Serbian participant, hoping to win his 21st Grand Slam on the Australian Open later this month, is on his third day in immigration detention in Melbourne – a case that has prompted a sporting, political and diplomatic furore.

A vocal opponent of vaccine mandates, Djokovic has been confined in a modest lodge after his visa was cancelled as a consequence of issues with the medical exemption from the nation’s immigration requirement for coronavirus vaccination that he introduced.

The drama has prompted tensions between Serbia and Australia and has additionally develop into a flashpoint for opponents of vaccine mandates around the globe.

“I explained that I had been recently infected with COVID in December 2021 and on this basis I was entitled to a medical exemption in accordance with Australian Government rules and guidance,” Djokovic was cited as saying within the court docket submitting about his expertise being detained at Melbourne Airport.

Djokovic mentioned he instructed Australian Border Force officers: “I had correctly made my Australian Travel Declaration and otherwise satisfied all necessary requirements in order to lawfully enter Australia on my visa.”

Djokovic returned his first optimistic COVID-19 take a look at on December 16 however by December 30 “had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours”, the submitting mentioned.

On January 1, it mentioned, he obtained a doc from Home Affairs telling him his responses indicated that he met “the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia”.

The federal court docket has ordered Home Affairs to file its response by Sunday. The Australian Open begins on January 17.

Meanwhile, on December 14, Djokovic attended a Euroleague basketball sport between Red Star and Barcelona in a packed sports activities corridor in Belgrade. He was photographed hugging a number of gamers of each groups, together with some who quickly later examined optimistic.

The Belgrade tennis federation, in a Facebook put up after the December 17 ceremony, reported that Djokovic had handed over cups and awards to the most effective younger gamers in 2021.

The occasion, held on the Novak Tennis centre within the Serbian capital, was attended solely by the award winners “due to epidemiological measures related to the coronavirus pandemic”, mentioned the federation assertion.

It was accompanied by a number of images of Djokovic, posing with the federation’s officers and a few 20 younger gamers holding cups and awards.

No one was sporting a masks.

Djokovic attended one other gathering on December 16, when the Serbia nationwide postal service honoured him by launching a collection of stamps that includes him and his sports activities achievements.

He printed a photograph from the ceremony on Instagram on December 17.

Many nations permit a latest COVID an infection as a cause for an exemption from vaccine necessities. Australia’s federal authorities launched a letter quickly after Djokovic arrived displaying that it had notified Tennis Australia that was not essentially the case within the nation.

The federal and Victorian state governments and Tennis Australia have denied duty for the dispute.

Djokovic’s court docket submitting confirmed a media report that he had requested to be moved to lodgings with entry to a tennis court docket however that his request was denied. The Park Hotel, the place he’s staying, can also be home to dozens of asylum seekers attempting to enter the nation.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic mentioned the participant had been supplied with gluten-free meals, instruments to train and a SIM card.

“He’s staying in Park Hotel until the final decision is made,” Brnabic instructed Serbian media.

“We’ve managed to make sure gluten-free food is delivered to him, as well as exercising tools, a laptop and a SIM card so that he is able to be in contact with his family.”

“It’s a positive tone from the Australian side. The Serbian government is ready to provide all the guarantees necessary for Novak to be allowed to enter Australia, the Serbian president [Aleksandar Vucic] is also involved,” Brnabic mentioned.

Djokovic’s submitting mentioned he had expressed “shock”, “surprise” and “confusion” when he was held in a single day, and had a mattress ready near his airport interview room so he may relaxation whereas ready till the morning when he would have the ability to reach authorized representatives and Tennis Australia, the submitting says.

Customs officers in the end “pressured” Djokovic to undertake an interview earlier than he had spoken to both, the submitting mentioned.

Tennis Australia mentioned it by no means knowingly misled gamers and had all the time urged gamers to be vaccinated, after News Corp papers printed a doc from the organising physique apparently advising gamers on methods to enter the nation with a medical exemption from vaccination.

“We have always been consistent in our communications to players that vaccination is the best course of action – not just as the right thing to do to protect themselves and others, but also as the best course of action to ensure they could arrive in Australia,” Tennis Australia mentioned in an announcement quoted by native media.

“We reject completely that the playing group was knowingly misled.”

Tennis Australia’s recommendation was primarily based on the contents of a federal authorities web site to which it had been referred by the federal well being minister, the assertion added.

Meanwhile, Czech participant Renata Voracova, who was additionally detained in the identical lodge as Djokovic and had her visa revoked after points along with her exemption, was seen by reporters leaving the lodge in a van on Saturday.

Her vacation spot was not instantly clear, however she instructed Czech media earlier that she was nonetheless ready to depart the nation after deciding to not attraction the choice.


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