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Novak Djokovic did not have assured entry to Australia, authorities says


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MELBOURNE — The Australian authorities hit again onerous at tennis star Novak Djokovic’s assertion that he was assured entry with a medical exemption from coronavirus vaccine necessities, mentioning in court docket papers filed Sunday that no foreigner has a assured proper to enter the nation.

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“There isn’t any such factor as an assurance of entry by a non-citizen into Australia. Relatively, there are standards and situations for entry, and causes for refusal or cancellation of a visa,” the federal government stated in a submitting forward of a court docket listening to on the case on Monday.

Djokovic, the world primary, is hoping to win his twenty first Grand Slam on the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan. 17. However as an alternative of coaching, the Serbian participant has been confined in a lodge used for asylum seekers and is difficult the choice to cancel his visa after being stopped on arrival at Melbourne Airport early on Thursday.

Djokovic, a vocal opponent of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, stated in a submitting to the court docket on Saturday that he been granted an exemption from vaccination as a consequence of having had the virus in December.

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His legal professionals stated he had the mandatory permissions to enter Australia, together with an evaluation from the Division of Dwelling Affairs that responses on his journey declaration type indicated he met the situations for quarantine-free arrival. The federal government disputed this.

It stated the division’s electronic mail was not an assurance “that his so-called ‘medical exemption’ can be accepted,” and his responses may very well be questioned and verified on his arrival.

The federal government additionally challenged Djokovic’s declare for a medical exemption on the idea he had contracted COVID-19 in mid-December and had recovered two weeks later.

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“There isn’t any suggestion that the applicant had “acute main medical sickness” in December 2021. All he has stated is that he examined constructive for COVID-19. This isn’t the identical,” the submitting stated.

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French newspaper L’Equipe printed {a photograph} of the participant taken when he was named the every day’s Champion of Champions within the days after he stated within the court docket submitting he had examined constructive for coronavirus, Dec. 16. Different pictures printed on social media confirmed him showing at features in Serbia on dates quickly after that take a look at.

It was not clear if Djokovic knew of his constructive take a look at on the time of the occasions proven within the footage.

Djokovic, 34, has gained the Australian Open 9 instances and the drama over his refused entry has induced a furor in sporting circles, sparked tensions between Serbia and Australia and grow to be a flashpoint for opponents of vaccine mandates all over the world.

Djokovic’s legal professionals can have as much as two hours to current their case from 10 a.m. (2300 GMT on Sunday) on Monday, whereas the federal government division will get two hours to current its defence from 3 p.m. The case is being heard by the Federal Circuit and Household Courtroom.

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The federal government submitting on Sunday careworn that even when the court docket dominated to free Djokovic from detention and let him play within the Open, underneath Australian regulation the federal government had each proper to detain him once more and take away him from the nation as a result of he’s a non-citizen.

That drew specific ire from Djokovic’s father, who addressed one other small protest in entrance of Serbia’s parliament constructing in Belgrade on Sunday.

“The politicians are actually saying that even when the court docket determined that he can play, they will detain him once more underneath their legal guidelines,” Srdjan Djokovic stated.

“Are we animals? What are we? We’re human beings. That is occurring as a result of we’re only a small a part of the world, however we’re proud. They haven’t any respect for him.”

Australia says its well being division notified event organizing physique Tennis Australia in November {that a} latest COVID-19 an infection was not essentially grounds for exemption within the nation, as it’s elsewhere. Nonetheless, Djokovic’s lawsuit says the Division of Dwelling Affairs wrote to him this month to say he had glad the necessities to enter the nation.

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Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley stated in his first media interview because the furor started that his group had spoken with federal and state officers for months to make sure the secure passage of gamers.

“Primarily as a result of there’s (so) a lot contradictory data the entire time, each single week we had been speaking to Dwelling Affairs, we had been speaking to all elements of presidency to make sure that … we had been doing the precise factor and (following) the precise course of with these exemptions,” Tiley informed Channel 9 tv.

“The conflicting data, and the contradictory data we obtained, was due to the altering atmosphere. We’re in a difficult atmosphere.”

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, requested in regards to the matter on Channel 9 tv, stated with out referring on to Djokovic that “there’s a transparent distinction between visas and entry necessities” and “entry necessities … sit over and above the visa situations.”

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Czech participant Renata Voracova, who was detained in the identical detention lodge as Djokovic and had her visa revoked after points along with her vaccine exemption, left the nation with out difficult her standing, the Czech International Ministry stated.

Djokovic has drawn sturdy help at residence. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Saturday that he had been given gluten-free meals, instruments to train and a SIM card to remain in touch with the surface world.

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