COVID-19 vaccination: Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Denied Entry Into Australia Over Status

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has been denied entry into Australia as protest protest continues about a decision to grant him a medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements to play in the Australian Open.

Reuters report that the tennis star was transported to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne after being held at the city’s airport overnight and was told he would be removed from the country later on Thursday.

The incident driven by domestic political point-scoring about the country’s handling of a record surge in new COVID-19 infections, created an international scene with the Serbian president claiming harassment of its star player.

Australia’s Border Force has confirmed that Djokovic’s visa had been revoked, while the source said the player’s lawyers planned to file an injunction to prevent his removal.

“There are no special cases, rules are rules. “We will continue to make the right decisions when it comes to securing Australian borders in relation to this pandemic,” Morrison said. “Our government has strong form when it comes to securing our borders.” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a televised media briefing.

Djokovic, who has consistently refused to disclose his vaccination status while publicly criticising mandatory vaccines, kicked off the furor when he said on Instagram that he had received a medical exemption to pursue a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam win at the Open starting Jan. 17.

The announcement prompted outcry in Australia, particularly in tournament host city of Melbourne, which has endured the world’s longest cumulative lockdown to ward off the coronavirus.

However, the move by the Australian government to block his entry caused ructions between Canberra and Belgrade.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he had spoken with Djokovic to reassure the player “that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world’s best tennis player is brought to an end immediately.”

“In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice,” The President said on Twitter.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Morrison said he was aware that representations have been made by the Serbian embassy in Canberra and denied the claims of harassment. “Australia has sovereign borders and clear rules that are non-discriminatory,” Morrison said.

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