Live updates: Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa hearing is underway



h men’s world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic is awaiting a verdict in a court hearing on whether he will be allowed to defend his men’s singles title at the Australian Open this month.

The 34-year-old’s visa was canceled after he entered Australia on January 5 and he has been confined to a hotel in Melbourne while he mounts his legal challenge.

Court documents, published Saturday and were submitted to the court ahead of Monday’s hearing, confirmed Djokovic — who has previously voiced opposition to Covid-19 vaccines and vaccines mandates — was unvaccinated when he arrived in Australia on January 5.

The nine-time Australian Open champion tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16, 2021, and after not showing signs of a fever or “respiratory symptoms” he later applied for a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open, according to a court filing.

According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization’s Expanded Guidance on temporary medical exemptions for Covid-19 vaccines, an exemption can be granted for visa holders in some cases involving a “PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, where vaccination can be deferred until 6 months after the infection.”

But the Australian federal government disputes that claim. Court documents show his visa was canceled because “previous infection with Covid-19 is not considered a medical contraindication for Covid-19 vaccination in Australia.”

If the court upholds the cancellation, Djokovic will be deported as soon as appropriate travel arrangements can be made.

The hearing on Monday has now started, with Judge Anthony Kelly presiding.



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