World Tennis Star Djokovic Did Not Have Guaranteed Entry to Australia, Government Lawyers Say
11:44 GMT 09.01.2022 (Updated: 12:13 GMT 09.01.2022)
Earlier, Australian authorities cancelled the visa of tennis player Novak Djokovic, citing violations of the country's vaccination rules.
Government lawyers said in a court filing ahead of a hearing that the Australian government had not given Novak Djokovic a guarantee that a medical exemption he said he had to enter Australia without COVID-19 jab would be accepted.
The Serbian tennis player’s lawyers said that he had an assessment from the Department of Home Affairs that his responses on his Australia Traveller Declaration specified that he met the requirements for quarantine-free entry to Australia.
In turn, government lawyers said on Sunday night that the department's email was not an assurance "that his so-called 'medical exemption' would be accepted".
"There is no suggestion that the applicant had "acute major medical illness" in December 2021. All he has said is that he tested positive for COVID-19," the government submission said.
Djokovic is currently in an immigration detention centre awaiting deportation after the Australian authorities cancelled his visa citing violations of the vaccination rules. The border authorities accused the player of "failing to provide appropriate evidence" in the airport as prior COVID-19 infection was not seen as valid grounds for a vaccination exemption. Djokovic's case will be heard in court on Monday.