Novak Djokovic Won A Fight To Stay In Australia & He Revealed His COVID Vaccination Status
"I am pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation," he said.
It looks like the Djoke is on Australia after all.
Novak Djokovic, the world's No. 1 tennis player, has been cleared to enter Australia without proving that he's been vaccinated after winning a high-profile court battle on Monday.
Djokovic had been given permission to enter the state of Victoria without showing proof of vaccination last week, but critics saw it as special treatment and raised a stink about it at the time. The Australian federal government stepped in, Djokovic's visa was revoked and he was sent to a government detention hotel until the matter could be sorted out in court.
But a judge ruled on Monday that Djokovic had been treated unfairly and ordered that he be released, the New York Times reports.
However, the move doesn't guarantee that he'll be allowed to defend his title at the Australian Open next week.
"I am pleased and grateful that the judge overturned my visa cancellation," Djokovic wrote on social media after his release. "Despite all that has happened in the past week, I want to stay and to try to compete at the Australian Open. I remain focused on that."
The 34-year-old also thanked his supporters, many of whom gathered for rallies outside his detention hotel during the ordeal.
Djokovic had originally boasted on Twitter about getting a pass on his vaccination before boarding a flight to Australia last Tuesday, but border guards stopped him when he arrived, saying that he'd failed to provide enough evidence for his exemption.
Djokovic has been publicly skeptical about vaccines, but until now he'd never revealed his vaccination status.
That changed on Monday when the court received a transcript of his interview with border guards.
"I am not vaccinated," he told them at the airport, according to the transcript. "I had COVID twice," he added during the interview. He said he had the disease in June 2020 and in mid-December 2021.
Djokovic was freed from his hotel and back on the tennis court later Monday, although his return to the Australian Open has not been confirmed.
The tournament starts on January 17.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.