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Novak Djokovic and the story behind his arrival in Australia

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Tennis player Novak Djokovic is a global trend due to the bizarre story of his arrival in Australia to play the Australian Open and subsequent detention in an immigrant center. In this article I will make a summary to date today, January 8, 2022, providing all relevant information and links to the sources of information.

Many times, in digital newspapers it tells an information without revealing where they get the data. If there is a court in between, they only comment on the court’s decision, but they do not link to the page of that court where you can see all the information that the media summarizes to their readers. When I am interested in a story, I like to soak up it as much as possible, and any detail, no matter how small, I like to have it.

Arrival in Australia

January 5, 2022 was the day Novak Djokovic arrived in Australia, at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne. At the time of his arrival he possessed a  GG408 visa for temporary activity which had been issued on 18 November 2021. This visa allows a person to stay in Australia to participate in an approved special program. Special programs may include cultural or community enrichment programs, school language assistants, “gap year school volunteering,” or sporting events, as is the case.

At 4.11am on 6 January 2022 an Australian Border Force officer gave Novak a notice considering her visa cancelled due to section 116 of the Migration Act 1958  as well as a document with an attachment detailing that during the interview by the ABF officer,  it became clear that the person involved was not vaccinated against COVID-19. Novak Djokovic provided a copy of a medical exemption issued by Tennis Australia in the form of an exemption certificate.

This medical exemption was issued on the basis that the player has recently recovered from COVID-19. Under the Biosafety Act 2015, there are several requirements that are required for entry into Australian territory. Requirements include that international travelers make a statement about their vaccination status (vaccinated, unvaccinated, or medically contraindicated). Previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication to vaccination with COVID-19 in Australia and that is why the visa was denied.

This statement is based on the fact that on 26 November 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation issued a document setting out cases where there were valid reasons for exemptions in COVID-19 vaccines. In no case was there talk that having passed the disease was an exemption.

Initiation of extradition proceedings

At the airport itself, after reviewing his visa, it was decided to cancel it. The hearing that began at that time is being processed urgently because the visa that was initially granted was to participate in the 2022 Australian Open, which begins on January 17.

Legal proceedings were initiated by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia which has created an online archive in the public interest. The documents are available on that website and will be uploaded when they are considered accessible to the public. At the moment he is being held prior to a judicial procedure that will determine whether he leaves the country or stays.

The law firm that represents you

The law firm representing Novak Djokovic’s interests is Hall & Wilcox. It must be said that this firm on its website has a statement in which they implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy for all their partners, employees, contractors, customers, visitors and service providers who access their offices and events. They will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A law firm that represents a person who is not vaccinated and who does not plan to do so.

Medical exemption and its retention

The medical exemption was issued on December 30, 2021, and stated that the tennis player had been positive for COVID-19, confirmed by a PCR test on December 16, 2021. After 14 days, Novak Djokovic no longer had a fever or any respiratory symptoms in the last 72 hours of issuing that certificate. The certificate was issued by an independent medical body commissioned by Tennis Australia.

After passing through the airport and denying his visa he was taken to the Park Hotel, where he has been detained, although the same player requested to be taken to a more suitable place to continue training and prepare for the future Australian Open. Djokovic contends that the alleged decision was affected by a variety of jurisdictional errors, as set out in his proposed Amended Application for Origin dated January 7, 2022. He requests that the Court annul the decision and the associated reparation to allow him to play this tennis tournament.

What’s going to happen with Novak Djokovic

It’s hard to say it can happen in a case as complex as this. The player has every right not to be vaccinated and to be against vaccines. However, that does not give him the power to do what he wants and break the rules of a country he arrives at after obtaining a temporary visa. The country is the one who decides, and therefore, we will have to wait to see how the judicial procedure ends.

I dare say that in the end they will allow him to participate in the tennis tournament since I am sure that his lawyers will emphasize that the tennis player recently passed the COVID-19 disease, and passing the disease is the best of vaccines. I find it hard to believe that the player who has had a visa since November and knows perfectly well that Australia is one of the countries with the toughest measures against COVID-19 will pass the disease just a month before, get an exemption certificate, and after having it embark on a plane trip to the other part of the world to play a tennis tournament. Without that role he would not have been allowed into the country. With him, there are many possibilities that he can play this tournament.

References

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