Australia rejects Novak Djokovic’s visa, asks him to leave the country

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Novak Djokovic has been barred from entering Australia, as the Border Force officials have deemed his vaccine medical exemption unsatisfactory. Djokovic had been given an exemption by the Victoria stage government to play the Australian Open in Melbourne, but the Border Force – which is governed by the country’s federal government – have now rejected the Serb’s visa.

Djokovic has been instructed to return to Serbia on Thursday, but the World No. 1’s lawyers are in the process of appealing the decision. It is unclear whether Djokovic will remain at Melbourne airport pending the announcement of the final verdict.

The 34-year-old had arrived at the Melbourne airport just before midnight, at which point it was discovered that his team had applied for the wrong kind of visa. The visa he had flown in with didn’t allow for vaccine exemptions, so Djokovic couldn’t have entered the country on the basis of that paper.

The Serb was then reportedly detained and kept in isolation for over seven hours by the Border Force officials as they examined the veracity of his medical exemption application. Djokovic wasn’t allowed to keep his phone with him during this period, which prompted many to question the length of time he was being held in custody.

Ultimately, however, the officials were not convinced by the evidence that Djokovic furnished to justify his medical exemption. According to Australian media sources, the Serb failed to provide “appropriate standards of proof” to enter the country.

Greg Hunt, Australia’s health minister, confirms Djokovic has failed to provide ‘appropriate standards of proof’ to enter the country and that he will be sent home.

As things stand Novak Djokovic seems unlikely to play the Australian Open, an event he has won a record nine times. It remains to be seen if the appeal filed by his lawyers helps change anything.


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