Novak Djokovic is sent to a Melbourne quarantine hotel and ‘will be deported TONIGHT’ after his visa was cancelled amid outrage over vax exemption to play in the Australian Open.
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has been sent to a quarantine hotel and is set to be deported back to Serbia within hours after Australian border officials cancelled his visa.
The world No.1 was detained at Melbourne Airport overnight in a guarded room and grilled by border officials until 5am after landing in Australia about 11pm on Wednesday.
After hours in the isolated room under police guard the star’s visa was cancelled and he is due to be flown out of the country later on Thursday.
Djokovic was moved to a hotel in Carlton in Melbourne’s inner-city under police guard on Thursday morning as authorities arrange a deportation flight back to Serbia.
His team is understood to have applied for a type of visa that does not allow medical exemptions for the unvaccinated.
There are also believed to be issues with the controversial exemption itself, with questions about whether he has adequate proof to support it.
He is believed to have been issued an exemption on the grounds that he was infected with coronavirus in the past six months.
However, though this may satisfy his entry into the tournament and Victoria, the federal government controls the international border and his exemption appears to not hold up under federal rules.
Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday morning said the federal government was not involved in the decision to approve Djokovic’s medical exemption.
The world No.1 and prominent Covid vaccine sceptic now faces a difficult legal fight to stay in the country and keep his Australian Open title fight alive.
Djokovic’s lawyers are gearing up to fight the visa cancellation in court, though it is not clear if the star player will stay in Australia during the case.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled on Thursday morning.
‘Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled,’ Mr Morrison wrote on Twitter.
‘Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.
‘Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant.’
Mr Hunt also confirmed the visa cancellation, and Border Force issued a statement to that effect.
‘The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements,’ the force said.