Novak Djokovic Deported After Losing Australia Visa Battle

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has officially lost his visa battle with Australia. 

Djokovic has been deported from Australia after his last-ditch court bid to be allowed to stay in the country to participate in the Australian Open. Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, had his visa canceled by Australia on grounds of “health and good order.” 

The visa drama played out for 10 days as Djokovic fought to be able to stay and play in the massive tennis tournament. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the visa decision, saying it was a decision that kept the country’s borders strong and kept Australians safe. His government, however, is facing criticism both at home and abroad for how Djokovic was treated and how the visa 

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa, saying that because he was unvaccinated, and therefore his presence in the country would risk fanning anti-vaccination campaigns. 

In the final court hearing, which took place Sunday, Djokovic’s legal team tried to argue that the grounds the government gave the decision on were illogical because deporting him would equally risk fading the anti-vaccination sentiment. 

Chief Justice James Allsop said that the court ruling to deny the visa was based on the legality of the minister’s decision, not on whether the decision was the right one to make. 

The full reasoning is expected to be released later in the week. 

In Australia, there are strict laws in place to deal with the ongoing Covid pandemic, especially around entering and leaving the country. Djokovic was originally granted a medical exemption by two separate health panels. One was commissioned by Tennis Australia, and the second was by the state government of Victoria.

Djokovic tested positive for Covid in December 2021. He was detained by the border force on Jan. 5 for not having a vaccination and therefore failing to meet the country’s Covid requirements, and his visa was revoked on sight. 

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