New court documents published by the Australian Federal Circuit on Saturday revealed that Novak Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 in December 2021.
“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.
Novak Djokovic has been granted a medical exemption from Tennis Australia to enter the Australian Open unvaccinated “on the grounds that he had recently recovered from COVID”, his lawyers said in a court on Saturday.
The documents, filed in court ahead of Djokovic’s hearing on Monday, confirmed that the men’s tennis No. 1 had not been vaccinated when he arrived in Australia on January 5.
After being questioned by the Australian Border Force, the submission states that Djokovic’s exemption was declared invalid under the Australian BioSecurity Act, 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 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, 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 that was not qualified by any relevant condition… the tournament organizer …and had received a document from the Ministry of Interior informing him that he met the requirements for 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. .
Under the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization’s comprehensive 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 can be delayed until 6 months after 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.