Novak Djokovic isn’t alone in having his visa canceled after flying in for the Australian Open with out the required proof to assist a medical exemption to the nation’s strict COVID-19 vaccination guidelines.
Djokovic was denied entry when he arrived at Melbourne’s airport on Wednesday and was nonetheless in an immigration detention resort on Friday, awaiting a court docket listening to to problem his deportation, when the Australian Border Pressure confirmed that motion was taken in opposition to two different individuals.
In an e-mail to The Related Press, the border drive stated following investigations into two different instances of individuals related to the Australian Open “one particular person has voluntarily departed Australia … and the visa of a 3rd particular person has been canceled.”
The ABF stated one particular person was taken into immigration detention pending deportation, however declined to to provide particulars or make additional remark.
The embassy for the Czech Republic in Canberra recognized 38-year-old doubles participant Renata Voráčová as one of many individuals concerned.
“Renata Voráčová has determined to go away Australia on the earliest attainable time and gained’t take part within the match in Melbourne,” the Czech embassy stated.
Initially, the Victorian state authorities deliberate to have a no-vaccine, no-play coverage for the season’s first tennis main at Melbourne Park, however that modified late final yr when the choice of the medical exemption was floated.
Australian Open organizers and the state authorities agreed to have two impartial panels of medical consultants assess purposes for the exemptions. The names, ages and nationalities have been faraway from every software for privateness causes, and the panels took the knowledge equipped on face worth.
An issue has since emerged: The rules for the state-backed assessments for exemptions for the match — the place it’s been mandated that each one gamers, employees, followers and officers should present proof of full vaccination for the coronavirus — and the nationwide necessities for entry to Australia differed.
Australian media has reported this week that the division of well being wrote to Tennis Australia final November to stipulate that individuals having a coronavirus an infection within the earlier six months wouldn’t be grounds for a medical exemption below the nationwide COVID-19 laws. That, apparently, was not communicated to all gamers.
Critics of the medical exemptions have stated if there have been no loopholes, then there can be no confusion.
Djokovic, who’s in search of a males’s file twenty first main singles title, has been a vaccine skeptic and has declined to acknowledge if he’s had photographs for COVID-19.
His attendance on the Australian Open, the place he’s a nine-time champion, had been up within the air for months due to Australia’s strict vaccination necessities.
Djokovic’s social media publish on Tuesday that he had obtained exemption permission and was heading to Melbourne sparked some outrage in Australia, the place individuals have endured months of lockdowns and closed state and worldwide borders in the course of the pandemic.
However Australian Open match director Craig Tiley defended the “fully reliable software and course of” for the medical exemptions and insisted there was no particular therapy for Djokovic.
Tiley stated 26 individuals related with the match utilized for a medical exemption however solely a “handful” have been granted. None besides Djokovic, who famous it on social media, have been publicly recognized on the time. Now three of them are both in detention or have left.
Australian Open organizers haven’t made any official touch upon the visa course of or the medical exemption since Wednesday.