The 20-time major champion from Serbia, he will be in immigration detention at least another night, possibly even the weekend. This could affect his chances of playing in the Australian Open this month.
Djokovic was forced to exchange the practice courts for law courts after his visa was revoked by Australian Border Force officers who disregarded his evidence supporting a medical exemption to the country's strict COVID-19 vaccine rules.
Djokovic did not disclose whether he was vaccinated against coronavirus.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly adjourned Djokovic’s case until Monday due to a delay in receiving his application for a review and temporary ban on his deportation. The government's lawyer agreed that Djokovic, a 34-year-old tennis player, should not be deported prior to the next hearing.
Before Djokovic landed on his trip, it was contentious. It emerged that the conservative federal government in Canada and the left-leaning Victoria state government had different views on what constitutes acceptable grounds to exempt Australia from its vaccination policy for tourists.
Djokovic announced on social media Tuesday that "exemption permission" had been granted. He arrived in Melbourne Wednesday night thinking that Victoria state approval would protect him from regulations that require all participants, fans, and staff to be fully immunized to attend the Australian Open. The Australian Open starts Jan. 17.
It would have been fine to enter the tournament. But, apparently not.
Djokovic flew long distances and spent the night trying convince authorities that he had all necessary documentation. However, the Australian Border Force issued an apology stating that he did not meet entry requirements.
Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, stated that "the rule is very clear." You must have a medical exemption. He didn't have valid medical exemption. We call the border and enforce it."
Greg Hunt, Health Minister, said that the visa cancellation was the result of a review by border officials of Djokovic’s medical exemption. They looked at the "integrity and the evidence" behind it.
Djokovic was moved Thursday morning to a secure hotel that is controlled by immigration officials and also accommodates asylum seekers or refugees
Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's President, said that he had spoken with Djokovic. His government asked that Djokovic be allowed to move into a house that he rented, and not to "not be in that infamous" hotel.
He said that Djokovic was treated differently than other players.
Vucic stated, "I fear that this overkill will keep going." "When you can’t beat someone, you do such things."
If Djokovic had shown that he was fully vaccinated against coronavirus, then access to Quarantine-free would not have been an issue. He applied for an exemption instead, which was only possible after Victoria state changed its policy of no-vaccination and no-play.
The approval of the exemption has been questioned.
The Sydney Morning Herald published letters from the Department of Health in November and the Health Minister to Tennis Australia, which stated that Djokovic did not meet the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation's national standard for entry without quarantine.
Morrison answered questions about confusion by stating that it was the responsibility of the person concerned to ensure correct documentation upon arrival.
While Djokovic's suggestion was rejected by the prime minister, he admitted that Djokovic could be being singled out.
He said, "One of the things that the Border Force does it they act upon intelligence to direct them attention to potential arrivals." "When people make public statements about what their have and what they are going to do, it draws significant attention to them."
He said that anyone who does this, regardless of whether they are a celebrity, politician, or a tennis player, can expect to be asked more questions than others.
Two independent panels of experts vetted Djokovic's medical exemption. Based on anonymous information provided by players, Djokovic was allowed to participate in the Australian Open regardless his vaccination status.
Djokovic has repeatedly resisted vaccines and refused to admit that he was ever given shots against the coronavirus.
This week, the exemption has been a hot topic in politics. Many Australians have felt a double standard after they have had difficulty obtaining expensive and scarcely available rapid antigen tests or were forced to isolate themselves.
Critics raised questions about the grounds Djokovic had for the exemption. Backers, however, argued that Djokovic has the right to privacy and freedom to choose.
Tensions have risen amid another increase in COVID-19. On Thursday, six people died and 21997 cases were added to the state's total. This is the largest daily increase in Victoria cases since the pandemic.
Craig Tiley, director of the Australian Open tournament, defended Wednesday's "completely legit application and process" while insisting that Djokovic was not given any special treatment.
Tiley stated that only 26 people were involved in the tournament and applied for a medical exemption. However, none of these people have been identified publicly. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported however that officials at the border are currently investigating a player and an official.
Acute major medical conditions or serious adverse reactions to previous COVID-19 vaccinations are acceptable reasons for an exemption. A second reason widely accepted is evidence of COVID-19 infected within the past six months.
After playing in an exhibition match that he had organized in spite of the pandemic, Djokovic was tested positive for coronavirus in June 2020.