The visa hearing for Novak Djokovic has been set for 9.30am on Sunday (10.30pm Saturday UK time).
Djokovic’s lawyers say his visa was canceled not because of the public health risk posed by the unvaccinated player, but because of how he may be perceived by anti-vaxxers in the country.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison himself welcomed the prospect of Djokovic being deported from Australia and said: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect this. may the result of these sacrifices be protected.”
The tennis star his visa was first revoked upon his arrival in Melbourne last week when his covid the immunization exemption was questioned.
But he won a lawsuit against the cancellation which allowed him to stay in the country.
At the time, the Australian government said it would continue to consider whether he could stay, a decision left to the discretion of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Mr Hawke announced on Friday that the Serb’s visa had again been cancelled, this time for public health reasons.
At a court hearing, Djokovic’s lawyers sought an injunction to block his deportation from the country, saying the reasons for Mr Hawke’s decision were “patently irrational”.
Djokovic’s lawyers had been pushing for a hearing on Sunday, hoping a decision would be made before the start of the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic tries to explain “mistake” on Australia entry visa form
Mr Hawke said on Friday: “Today I exercised my authority under Section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on grounds of health and of good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so,” he said in a statement.
“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Djokovic vs Australia: what both sides have said so far
Commenting on the decision, Mr Morrison said Australians had made “many sacrifices” during the pandemic.
“They rightly expect that the outcome of these sacrifices will be protected,” he added. “The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.
“Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, before COVID and now during the pandemic. »