Novak Djokovic: Covid infection gave tennis star Australian Open exemption, say lawyers

By Malik Ouzia

Novak Djokovic’s vaccine exemption to enter Australia was based on having had Covid last month, his lawyers have claimed.

Court documents published on Saturday say the world No1 tested positive for the virus on December 16 and has “not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours”.

Djokovic had been granted a medical exemption to play in this month’s Australian Open despite not meeting its criteria of being double-vaccinated but was dramatically denied entry to the country after landing in Melbourne this week.

Border officials claimed the exemption was not sufficient and cancelled Djokovic’s visa, with the Serbian since being transferred to immigration detention at Melbourne’s Park Hotel quarantine facility.

His legal team are currently appealing against proposed deportation, with a hearing set for Monday.

The saga has sparked major controversy. Australia has a 90 per cent double-vaccination rate and many locals reacted furiously to the prospect of Djokovic being given perceived special treatment while they continue to live under restrictions due to the Omicron wave.

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