“Mr Djokovic had received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia on 30 December 2021 stating that he had been granted a ‘medical exemption from COVID vaccination’ on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID,” it said. in the document. said.
Djokovic’s first Covid-positive PCR test was recorded on December 16, 2021, and after showing no signs of fever or “respiratory symptoms”, he applied for a medical exemption from participating in the Australian Open, according to the document.
The Serbian player – who had previously criticized Covid-19 vaccine mandates – was granted a medical exemption to enter the tournament unvaccinated “on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID”, his officials said. lawyers in a lawsuit Saturday.
The documents, filed in court ahead of Djokovic’s hearing on Monday, confirm that the player had not been vaccinated when he arrived in Australia on January 5.
After being questioned by the Australian Border Force, the entry states that Djokovic’s exemption under the Australian BioSecurity Act was declared invalid because his “previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication to Covid-19- vaccination in Australia.”
A “medical contraindication” is granted in specific situations where a drug, procedure, vaccine or surgery should not be used because it could be harmful to a person’s health.
Djokovic’s visa was subsequently canceled on 6 January at 04.11 am local time under Article 116(1)(e) of the Migration Act, which “allows for the cancellation of a visa when the holder poses a risk to health , the safety or good order of the Australian community, or to any person within the Australian community.”
Djokovic’s lawyers argued in the submission that the nine-time Australian Open champion had every reason to believe that he would be granted entry into the country as he “held a visa which was not qualified by any relevant condition… a certification of a medical exemption from vaccination from the organizer of the tournament…and had received a document from the Ministry of the Interior stating that he met the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival.”
The “letter from the Department of the Interior” referred to by Djokovic’s lawyers concerns the Australian Travel Declaration (ATD) form, a standard document to be completed by all passengers arriving in the country at least 72 hours before departure. .
According to the ATAGI Expanded Guidance on Temporary Medical Waivers for COVID-19 Vaccines, a temporary waiver may be granted to visa holders in some cases where there is a “PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, where vaccination may be delayed until 6 months after the infection.”
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Thursday that Tennis Australia had been informed in a letter as early as November 2021 that unvaccinated players with a recent Covid-19 infection will not be allowed to enter the country.
The Serbian superstar has not publicly disclosed his vaccination status, but at a press conference on Thursday, Morrison said the 34-year-old “had no valid medical exemption” from the vaccination requirement before arriving in the country.
Djokovic’s legal team has filed for an urgent court order against Australia’s border forces’ decision to revoke his visa. The country’s federal court has adjourned the decision to Monday on whether he should remain in Australia or be deported, according to Reuters and public broadcaster ABC.