Novak Djokovic has been handed a major boost with Australia removing the vaccination requirement for international arrivals.
Djokovic was at the centre of a political storm at the start of this year, as he travelled to play the Australian Open under what he was told was a exemption that allowed him to enter the country despite not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
However, he was stopped at the border and detained before finally being deported just hours before the tournament was due to begin.
That obstacle has now been removed, though, which should ensure he is able to play the 2023 Australian Open should he want to.
“The Australian government makes decisions on Covid-related issues after considering the latest medical advice,” health minister Mark Butler said.
“The chief medical officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travellers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of Covid.”
Home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, added: “This is great news for families coming home from school holidays who now don’t need to use the DPD (digital passenger declaration).
“As more and more of us travel internationally and we get more confident in managing our risk of Covid, our airports are getting busier.
“Removing these requirements will not only reduce delays in our airports but will encourage more visitors and skilled workers to choose Australia as a destination.”
Novak Djokovic may still run into problems, though. A three year ineligibility for being granted a visa usually accompanies a deportation order, and he would still require a visa to enter Australia.
There is also the possibility, of course, that after how he was treated this year he may simply decide he does not want to play the tournament again.
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