Australian judge reinstates Djokovic's visa
An Australian judge has reinstated tennis star Novak Djokovic's visa, which was canceled after his arrival last week because he is unvaccinated.
Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly also ordered the government on Jan. 10 to release Djokovic from Melbourne hotel quarantine within 30 minutes of his decision.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge after the ruling that the minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancelation.'”
That would mean mean Djokovic could again face deportation and could miss the Australian Open, which starts on Jan. 17.
The Australian government canceled 34-year-old Djokovic's visa shortly after he arrived in Melbourne late on Jan. 5 to play in the Australian Open because officials decided he didn't meet the criteria for an exemption to an entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Djokovic, who court documents say is unvaccinated, argued he did not need proof of vaccination because he had evidence that he had been infected with the coronavirus last month.
Australian medical authorities have ruled that a temporary exemption for the vaccination rule can be provided to people who have been infected with COVID-19 within six months.
Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly noted that Djokovic had provided officials at Melbourne's airport with a medical exemption given him by Tennis Australia, which is organizing the tournament that starts on Jan. 17, and two medical panels.