The tennis star Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia following the visa scandal. Serb’s visa cancelled on failing the Australian COVID-19 norms, while the world No. 1 is now reportedly being held at a hotel used to house undocumented immigrants as his lawyers lodge an appeal.
Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, but Australia wasn’t the same welcoming as earlier. Its successful “covid zero” policies now has one of the world’s sharpest spikes in infections. Amid outrage over the decision to award the unvaccinated Djokovic a visa, the athlete found himself detained at the airport and told to go home.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has broken his silence and seemed to embrace his government’s decision to turn away the tennis player, who he said lacked a medical exemption required of inoculated travellers.
“Rules are rules, and there are no special cases,” PM told reporters on Thursday and added that roughly 94 percent of eligible Australians are imminized.
Morrison thanked border officers and confirming that Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled. Commenting on the decision, the head of Australian government added that the strict COVID disciple allowed the country to reach one of the lowest death rates of covid globally.
Initially, Djokovic’s vaccine exemption for Australian Open is met with scepticism. Allowing big business to break the rules is not what Australian sport is all about, the experts say.
In a nation of rule-followers, perceived breaches of covid protocol has sometimes sparked public shaming. So, when Djokovic announced on Instagram that he had received a travel exemption and was on his way to Australia to defend his Open title, it was no surprise that there was a fierce backlash.