The Australian government says unvaccinated Novak Djokovic poses a “negligible risk” for people to become infected with Kovid-19. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke says he is also happy to believe that the 34-year-old tennis ace has entered Australia under vaccination guidelines. Don’t argue that Djokovic, who says he caught Kovid-19 last month, has a medical reason for not getting vaccinated, and admits he is “a good man and known for his philanthropic efforts.”
So why does Hawk say he revoked Djokovic’s visa?
And why does he want to deport the world’s number one men’s tennis player – days before the Australian Open starts on Monday?
Here are the main reasons given to the Minister in a written document released by a federal court hearing on Djokovic’s appeal:
Djokovic’s presence in Australia “could provoke anti-vaccination sentiment”, Hawke said, adding that the player had expressed his opposition to being vaccinated in public.
This could affect others not getting vaccinated, or not getting booster shots, he argued.
Ignoring the covid rules
Djokovic admitted to a “judgment error” in an interview with a reporter for the French sports paper L’Equipe two days after the December 16 positive Covid-19 test.
If he lives in Australia, the Tennis Ace could “promote equal disregard” for the Covid-19 safety guidelines after a positive test result, Hawke said.
Risk for good order
As a role model, Djokovic’s failure to comply with public health measures and vaccination status could undermine Australia’s epidemic management, Hawke said.
It could not only encourage people to violate health regulations, but it could lead to “civil unrest,” he said.
The immigration minister referred to “rallies and protests” that have already taken place in Australia “which may itself be a source of community transmission”.
Wrong travel declaration
Djokovic’s statement on the Australian announcement erroneously stated that he would not travel to Melbourne within 14 days of the flight, arriving late on 5 January.
In fact, during that time he traveled from Serbia to Spain.
Djokovic said the mistake was made by her agent, who admitted to the government that she was guilty.
Hawke said he assumed Djokovic did not break the law because of his agent’s entry, but that he should “be careful” with such an important document.
In any case, the minister said he did not consider it a key factor, and would have made the same decision had he not considered the declaration.
Dismissing the visa would cause Djokovic and his family “emotional distress and distress”; Will damage his reputation and finances; And that would prevent him from competing in the Australian Open, Hawke said.
But in that Covid-19 fight in Australia, the government believes it outweighs the risks, the minister said.
These risks concern many Australians with “too much preservation of life and health”, Hawke said, at a time when the health system is under “increasing stress” from the epidemic.