Novak Djokovic granted vaccine exemption after testing positive for Covid-19 in December, according to court documents
Novak Djokovic was given a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open after he was recently cured by Covid-19, court documents released on Saturday by the Australian Federal Circuit show.
This news comes as the number 1 tennis player in the World is restricted to a hotel in Melbourne as he has a legal challenge to revoke his visa before the tournament.
Djokovic's first Covid-positive PCR test was recorded on December 16, 2021.
The Serbian player, who has previously criticized Covid-19 vaccine mandates, was given a medical exemption to compete in the unvaccinated tournament "on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID", his lawyers said in a court submission on Saturday.
Djokovic's lawyers argued in the submission that the nine-time Australian Open champion had every reason to believe he would be allowed to enter the country, as he "had an unqualified visa from any relevant condition ... had received the certificate of an exemption" vaccinated by the tournament organizer ... and had received a document from the Department of the Interior informing him that he met the quarantine arrival requirements. "
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Thursday that Tennis Australia was advised in a letter as early as November 2021 that players not vaccinated with a recent Covid-19 infection would not be allowed to enter the country.
Djokovic did not publicly disclose his vaccination status, but at a news conference Thursday, Morrison said the 34-year-old "did not have a valid medical exemption" from the vaccination request for arrivals in the country.
Djokovic's legal team requested an urgent warrant against the Australian Border Guard decision to revoke his visa. The country's Federal Court has postponed the decision until Monday whether he will be allowed to stay in Australia or deported, according to Reuters and public broadcaster ABC.