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Why was Novak Djokovic’s visa cancelled?

Novak Djokovic’s visa was cancelled twice by the Australian authorities.

The first time, on January 5, the Australian Border Force were not satisfied that the Serb’s prior infection with Covid was an adequate medical exemption to vaccination.

However, this decision was quashed on January 10 by Judge Kelly of the Federal Circuit Court for procedural reasons.

On the evening of January 14, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke made a new order cancelling the Serb’s visa “on health and good order grounds, adding that it was in the public interest to do so”.

In his submission to the Federal Court, Hawke stated that he was “willing to accept” Novak Djokovic had a valid medical exemption from vaccination to travel to Australia.

However, he added that Djokovic’s status as a high profile unvaccinated person, his views on vaccination and his failure to isolate after testing positive in Serbia could be a threat to public health and public order.

Specifically, he believed that Djokovic being allowed to remain in Australia could embolden anti-vax groups and encourage other people to ignore Covid rules refuse vaccination or not complete their full course of vaccination.

Djokovic then lost his appeal against Hawke’s order at the Federal Court.

Explaining the process that led to the rejection of the appeal, Chief Justice Allsop explained that the court could only rule in favour of Djokovic if the decision was “irrational” or “legally unreasonable” and that it could not decide on the merits or wisdom of the decision.


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