The strict policy of Australia towards visitors who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 has not changed, said the Prime Minister Thursday, as the government approached a decision on the deportation of the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s coronavirus vaccination policy has not changed since borders were opened for non-quarantine travel a month ago.
The number one men’s tennis visa was canceled last week upon his arrival in Melbourne, when the immunization exemption he had received was questioned, but he later won a legal battle on procedural grounds that allowed him to stay in the country.
Djokovic could still be deported, a decision left at the complete discretion of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke if he considers it would be in the public interest for health and safety reasons.
Despite the doubts surrounding Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, the organizers included it in the draw that took place on Thursday. The Serbian will start the defense of his title against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, which ranks 78th in the world rankings, in the first round.
Adelaide semi-finals before Australian Open. Non-residents must show that they received two doses or “provide acceptable evidence that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons,” he noted.
“This is the policy and, of course, we expect the authorities to apply the policy,” the president added.
Djokovic, 34, is not vaccinated. His argument for requesting the waiver was based on evidence that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Serbia last month and has overcome the disease.
In addition, the tennis player has recognized that his declaration to travel to Australia it contained incorrect information.
Hawke has been weighing the issue of deportation tennis player since a judge restored his visa on Monday.
Morrison declined to give any indication of how long the decision could be delayed and Djokovic, who has been crowned at Melbourne Park nine times, plans to defend his title.