The Australian Government has finally acted to try and bring the Djokovic saga to an end by re-cancelling the Serbian’s visa on health grounds as he remains unvaccinated against Covid-19 which is considered a risk to the public.
Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so Alex Hawke, Australian Immigration Minister
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has announced today that he is using his discretionary powers to annul Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time after it was reinstated by a Federal Court last Monday.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” Mr Hawke said in a statement.
So, in order to open the first grand slam on Monday as the defending champion, Djokovic is expected to appeal the latest decision back in a federal court.
Since Monday and his release from a detention centre, Djokovic has been practicing in Melbourne and seen himself announced as the top seed for the Australian Open and been drawn to play his countryman Miomir Kecmanovic next Monday or Tuesday.
The decision will no doubt be a relief to the majority of the Australian community who have been against the unvaccinated Serb being in the country and his attempts at remaining there after accepting that his travel documents had been wrongly completed, had travelled when he should have been isolating and mingled with children at an awards day without wearing a mask.
In fact, from the outset following his arrival and the infamous self-satisfied Instagram picture he released announcing his departure to Australia with a medical exemption, the vaccine sceptic’s presence in Melbourne has been very toxic and has become a very political hot potato, both nationally and internationally.
Australia has endured some of the world’s longest lockdowns, has a 90 per cent vaccination rate among adults, and has seen a runaway Omicron outbreak bring nearly a million cases in the last two weeks, the final decision is not surprising despite the status of the player.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on morning television on Friday that visa decisions were a matter for the country’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, but the policy settings of the government overall were “crystal clear”.
“That is that people who enter Australia who are not Australian citizens should be double dose vaccinated unless they have a clear and valid medical exemption against that,” he said on Channel 9’s Today Show.
So the scene is set for Round Two of the Djokovic Deportation saga.