Posted on: Post Date – Thu 09:50 AM – 11/17/22
Canberra: The Australian government has overturned a ban on tennis star Novak Djokovic’s entry, clearing the way for him to compete in the Australian Open.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles confirmed on Thursday that Djokovic had been granted a temporary visa to enter the country, Xinhua reported.
The Serbian was detained in Melbourne on the eve of the Grand Slam about 10 months ago for trying to enter the country without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
After a legal battle, Djokovic was deported and automatically banned from entering Australia for three years.
Gilles’ decision overturns that ban.
He said in a statement that strict border restrictions that barred unvaccinated non-citizens from entering the country had been lifted.
“Since the cancellation of Mr Djokovic’s visa in January 2022, all COVID-19-related Australian border restrictions imposed by the Biosecurity Act 2015 have been lifted, including the provision of COVID-19 vaccination status evidence is required to enter Australia.”
Djokovic was aiming for a fourth consecutive men’s singles title at Melbourne Park before being ejected.
Speaking at the ATP Finals in Turin, Djokovic said he was “very happy” to be back in Australia.
“I certainly couldn’t have received better news – during this tournament as well. The Australian Open was my most successful Grand Slam. I have some of the best memories there,” he said.
The 2023 Australian Open will be held from January 16-29.