The Australian government canceled Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time. This was confirmed this Friday by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. In an official statement, he explained that it is a decision made for reasons of “health and public order.” The judge who blocked Djokovic’s expulsion scheduled an emergency hearing for this Friday.

Djokovic asked the Australian justice to prevent his expulsion, according to his lawyer, Nick Wood. The lawyer reported that his client is not currently being held by the authorities and asked that he be kept free for the duration of the process. “We are very concerned about timing,” Wood told the judge, with three days to go before the Australian Open begins.

The explanation of the Australian government

The head of Immigration assured that the Australian Government is “strongly committed to protecting borders”, especially in a context where record numbers of coronavirus infections are recorded throughout the world.

“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they hope, not surprisingly, that the result of these sacrifices will be protected,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison added in an official statement.

Djokovic’s novel in Australia

Djokovic arrived in Australia on January 5 with special medical permission to enter the country with the intention of participating in the Australian Open. The authorities retained him because he did not present the documentation proving his anticovid vaccination. For this reason, he spent four days delayed in a hotel in the Australian capital until on Monday a judge ordered his release.

The Serbian’s lawyers had submitted a statement in which they claimed that the tennis player could not be vaccinated because he tested positive for coronavirus last December. “The date of the first positive PCR test for covid was recorded on December 16, 2021,” said the document cited by the Australian media.

Australia does not allow entry to non-citizens or non-residents who are not fully vaccinated against coronavirus. What it does allow are medical exemptions, but the government considered Djokovic’s justification insufficient. The Serbian could be seen in a journalistic interview in December, when he supposedly already knew that he had tested positive for covid.

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