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Letters from Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt sent to Australian Open Tournament Director in November have shed more light on the decision by Australian Border Force to deny Novak Djokovic entry into the country.
The tennis world was hit by a bombshell on Wednesday evening when the defending champion’s visa was cancelled after he was initially granted a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination requirements.
After weeks of speculation the 20-time Grand Slam winner announced on Tuesday that he was on his way Down Under after being handed an “exemption”.
However, by the time he touched down in Melbourne it became clear that he faced an uphill battle to enter the country as he was forced to spend nine hours in isolation at Tullamanrien airport.
Then the big announcement came from Australian Border Force that he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled”.
Djokovic has taken the legal route and will fight his deportation, but it has now become clear that his exemption was based on the fact that he had Covid-19 in the past six months.
However, a letter sent to Tiley in November revealed that Australian health authorities do not deem people who have had Covid-19 in the past six months to be fully vaccinated under guidelines set out by Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
“The Australian Border Force has advised that people must be fully vaccinated, as defined by ATAGI to gain quarantine-free entry into Australia,” the letter stated.
“In relation to your specific questions, I can confirm that people who contracted Covid-19 within the past six months and seek to enter Australia from overseas, and have not received two doses of a Therapeutic Goods Administration-approved or recognised vaccine are not considered fully vaccinated.”
A second letter dated November 29 advised that those who arrive at Australian borders will need to prove that they can gain entry into the country under the ATAGI regulations.
“People who have previously had Covid-19 and not received a vaccine dose are not considered fully vaccinated,” the letter read.
It continued: “ATAGI is not responsible for border control issues, however, Australian Border Force has advised that people must be fully vaccinated, as defined by ATAGI to gain quarantine-free entry into Australia.
“This means that people who fall into the above categories will not be approved for quarantine-free entry, regardless of whether they have foreign vaccination exemptions.”
The article Letters to Australian Open chief reveal why Novak Djokovic’s visa was cancelled appeared first on Tennis365.com.