The Australian government says the presence of Novak Djokovic throughout the two weeks of the Australian Open may put lives and civil order at risk by increasing anti-vax sentiment and disregard for COVID-19 rules.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke concedes the unvaccinated Djokovic entered Australia with a valid medical exemption and poses a low risk of contracting the virus while in Australia and passing it on to others due to his recent infection.
Mr Hawke’s detailed reasons for his decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time since his arrival in Australia late on January 5, portray Djokovic (nine-time Australian Open winner) as a menace to both public health and public order.
The minister describes Djokovic as a “high profile unvaccinated individual” who has publicly indicated his opposition to getting the jab and demonstrated an “apparent disregard” for basic COVID rules such as isolating after a positive test.
Court documents being published:
Court documents now being published here: https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/djokovic
The application contains extracts of the Minister’s reasoning for his decision based on public interest:
Despite my acceptance above that Mr Djokovic’s recent infection with COVID-19 means that he is at a negligible risk of infection and therefore presents a negligible risk to those around him, I am concerned that his presence in Australia, given his well-known stance on vaccination, creates a risk of strengthening the anti-vaccination sentiment of a minority of the Australian community.
From Sat,, 10:15am
(Next hearing – Sun 9:30am local time)
Novak’s Father’s Comments:
Shortly after Djokovic was first taken into detention, his father Srdjan declared: “Australia has become a dystopia, a mockery of the free world, they treat Novak Djokovic, my son, your world champion, as a political prisoner. As a terrorist in Guantanamo Bay.
“They deprive him of the right to play, to individuality, to freedom of opinion.”
Djokovic is back in detention today, his meetings with lawyers shadowed by two Border Force guards. Whether he can again walk freely in Australia for the forseeable future — much less play tennis here — will be determined by a Federal Court hearing on Sunday.