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Novak Djokovic was detained at Melbourne airport for not getting vaccinated and Serbian media claim that he is being treated as a “criminal”

Novak Djokovic was detained at the Melbourne airport after the Australian Government did not allow him to enter due to a problem in the visa, which would be linked to the lack of vaccination of the tennis player, an essential element to enter the country.

ABC News reported that the Acting Australian Border Force Commissioner was examining a “problem” that had arisen with Djokovic’s Travel Statement for the Australian Open, which is now believed to be an incorrect visa application.

It is said that the number one in the world applied for a visa that does not allow medical exemptions for not being vaccinated.

Novak Djokovic: crosses between the Australian Government and the state of Victoria

Djokovic was detained at the airport
Novak Djokovic between a rock and a hard place.

Just minutes before the world’s No. 1 landed, Victoria’s Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford said the federal government had asked the state government to support Djokovic’s visa application.

“We will not provide Novak Djokovic with individual visa application assistance to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam,” he said on Twitter.

“We have always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”

Meanwhile, the federal Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, stressed that the federal government was responsible for enforcing border requirements.

“If an arriving person is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons in order to access the same travel plan as fully vaccinated travelers,” it said in a statement.

Outrage over Australia’s permission to Novak Djokovic: “If you refuse to be vaccinated, you should not be allowed entry”

Australians, who suffered more than 18 months from the closure of their borders due to the pandemic, received with outrage the medical exemption granted to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic to play the Tennis Open, the first of the Grand Slam of each season, without having to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The vaccine is mandatory to enter Australia, but there are temporary exemptions for people who have “a serious medical condition”, who cannot be vaccinated because they have contracted covid-19 in the previous six months or have had an adverse reaction to the drug, Between other reasons.

So far the reasons behind that exemption granted to Djokovic in Australia are unknown, where thousands of people were unable to leave the country during the pandemic or to say goodbye to their dying loved ones and currently queue up to 9 hours to be tested to detect the virus.

Criticism of politicians and athletes to Novak Djokovic

“Novak Djokovic is the greatest tennis player of all time (…) he won 20 Grand Slams, 87 titles and billions of dollars without our knowing that he has medical problems that weaken him,” Australian rugby player Kevin Barlett commented wryly. on a tweet, reflecting widespread outrage.

But the acting Minister of Sports of the regional Government of Victoria, Jaala Pulford, assured this Wednesday at a press conference in Melbourne “that no one is or will be receiving special treatment for who they are or for what they have achieved professionally.”

Pulford – who was accompanied by the executive director of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley – admitted that the decision “is something that will cause discomfort to many” residents of Melbourne, the city that accumulates more days in strict isolation during the pandemic, and the rest of this country in which some of the toughest measures in the world against covid-19 were implemented.

The arrival of the 34-year-old tennis player, who is on his way to Australia, has generated expectation given that at the border he will have to justify why he cannot be vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to the Australian Interior Minister, Karen, in a statement on Wednesday. Andrews.

“Anyone who wants to enter Australia must comply with our strict border requirements,” Andrews emphasized, recalling that those who have not received the complete vaccine schedule must demonstrate that they cannot receive this drug for medical reasons to avoid, thus , quarantines for 14 days.

Later, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra that “if that evidence is insufficient, then you will not be treated differently and you will be sent home on the next plane.”

Serbian media are furious at Australians’ “mistreatment” of Novak

“They treat him like a criminal, it is scandalous”: in Serbia they denounce that Djokovic is detained in police custody.

“Djokovic is under arrest. The best tennis player in the world is treated like a criminal, receives scandalous treatment. He is detained in a room with two police officers watching him, “reported the Serbian newspaper The Telegraph, which detailed that the tennis player was forbidden to use his cell phone and contact other members of his work team. This was confirmed by Srdjan Djokovic, Nole’s father.

According to the Serbian daily Blic, Djokovic was separated from the rest of the passengers upon arrival at Melbourne’s Tullamarine International Airport. “They didn’t even allow him to get off the plane normally and escorted him to the immigration detention area. It would remain there until the authorities of the oceanic country make a final decision on its exemption from entry, ”explained the media.

Australia suffers the omicron variant and cases increase

The exemption to “Nole” coincides with a crisis in Australia due to the irruption of the omicron variant, which led to an increase in the accumulated cases of Covid.

The accumulated infections went from almost 212,000 last December 1 to more than 600,000 this week, wreaking havoc on the supply due to the losses among workers.

But this figure is below the real numbers since many infected people do not go to the clinics for detection of the disease due to long lines of up to 9 hours, as well as the option of having a home antigen test as long as they find it. , despite the high prices.

SOURCE: TN and Clarín.

Aldous McEwan

Aldous is a tech enthusiast and a traveller, who has completed his B.A in year 2018.

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