Djokovic: Covid contamination gave him vaccine exception – lawyers

Djokovic's lawyers said the Serbian had shown no Covid symptoms two weeks after testing postive

Djokovic’s lawyers said the Serbian had shown no Covid symptoms two weeks after testing positive

Tennis star Novak Djokovic had a vaccine exception to enter Australia following a Covid contamination on 16 December, his lawyers say in court documents.

Djokovic was refused entry to Australia following landing in Melbourne this week to play in the Australian Open.

The world’s top ranked tennis player is right now in an migration custody centre ahead of a court case on Monday.

His case has caused a massive hullabaloo in Australia and made waves around the world.

Djokovic, 34, who has stated he is opposed to inoculation, had been accorded a medical immunity to play in the competition in a resolution that enraged numerous ordinary Australians.

Nevertheless the Serbian was apprehensively refused entry on landing.

On Wednesday, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials said the player had

“failed to provide appropriate evidence”

at Melbourne Airport due to the fact that a prior infection was not a well founded reason to enter without a vaccination.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison eventually affirmed that this was the case under federal rules – in spite of an backing by the Victorian state government.

Image caption,
Novak Djokovic will argue for his visa to be reinstated at a court hearing on Monday

Image caption,
Novak Djokovic’s family cried foul at his treatment by Australia at a rally outside Serbia’s parliament

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In court documents released on Saturday, Djokovic’s lawyers said the player had been accorded a non-permanent visa to enter the country and given a

“medical exemption from Covid vaccination”

by Tennis Australia due to his new infection.

The documents state that an exception certificate noted that 14 days following testing positive in December, the player

“had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours”.

There had been no earlier declaration of his infection.

Djokovic’s exception was issued by two independent medical panels arranged by Tennis Australia, the body that runs the event, and Victoria state.

His lawyers declared that the star was in immigration clearance at Melbourne Airport for approximately eight hours following his arrival, and that he had little communication with them ‎amid that period.

They have as well asked that the star, who is at this moment in the immigration detention hotel that has frequently been condemned by refugees for its poor conditions, be moved to

“a more suitable place of detention”

that would enable him to train ahead of the Australian Open.

Watch: The BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil reports from outside hotel where Djokovic is being detained

Australia’s epidemic border rules prohibit foreigners from entering the country if they are not either double vaccinated or have a medical exception from having the jabs.

Although foreigners can fly in to Australia on a visa applied for online, they must still clear immigration customs on arrival at the airport.

More on this story

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Image caption,
Activists have been gathering at the hotel in support of refugees

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