The Australian government cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time on Friday, saying the world tennis No. 1, unvaccinated for COVID-19, may pose a risk to the community.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to again cancel Djokovic’s visa, after a court quashed an earlier revocation and released him from immigration detention on Monday.
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“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,” Hawke said in a statement.
Djokovic, the defending champion, was included in Thursday’s draw as top seed and was due to face fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic for his opening match, probably on Monday or Tuesday.
The decision to again cancel his visa over COVID-19 entry regulations could set up a second court battle by the Serbian tennis star, after a court quashed an earlier revocation and released him from immigration detention on Monday.
Melbourne’s The Age newspaper cited a source in Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party as saying the government was “strongly leaning” towards revoking the visa again.
Djokovic, a vaccine sceptic, fuelled widespread anger in Australia when he announced last week he was heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open with a medical exemption to requirements for visitors to be inoculated against COVID-19.