Friday 1/21/22
PANDEMIC

Djokovic contracted Covid last month, say lawyers fighting visa ban

Djokovic has been detained at an immigration facility in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to travel to the first tennis major of the year
07 January 2022, Australia, Melbourne: Supporters of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic unfurl a banner during a protest outside of the Park hotel quarantine facility where it is believed Djokovic is being detained. World No.1 tennis star Novak Djokovic is fighting his visa cancellation and pending deportation in a Federal Court challenge. Photo: Joel Carrett/AAP/dpa.
Supporters of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic unfurl a banner during a protest outside of the Park hotel quarantine facility. Photo: Joel Carrett/dpa.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia to compete in the Australian Open because he contracted Covid-19 last month, his lawyers have stated.

In court documents published on Saturday, it is stated that the Serbian recorded a positive test on 16 December, and has “not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours”.

Djokovic has been detained at an immigration facility in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was cancelled following scrutiny of the medical exemption he had secured to travel to the first tennis major of the year.

According to his legal team, Djokovic was provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.

It is claimed that the exemption certificate was “provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia”, and that “the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government.”

Hearing on Monday

Djokovic’s lawyers added that he was granted an “Australian Travel Declaration” because he was told by the authorities that [he met] the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia”.

Djokovic must wait for a hearing on Monday to discover his fate.

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