Australian Open 2022 campaign under threat as federal court to hear appeal after immigration minister Alex Hawke cancels Serbia tennis star’s visa

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has claimed Australians could ignore isolation demands if Novak Djokovic stays in Australia.

In the documents made public this morning, the minister refers to evidence that has surfaced over the past week that Djokovic attended an interview and photo shoot with the French newspaper. The team on December 18 while knowing he was COVID positive.

“Mr Djokovic has publicly admitted that it was an ‘error of judgment’ to attend this interview, and that he should have resisted this commitment as he had been given a positive pre-test result on December 18,” said Mr Hawke.

The minister went on to say that because of Djokovic’s “high-profile status and position as a role model in the sporting and wider community”, the Australian public may “encourage a similar disregard for precautionary requirements after receiving a positive COVID-19 test in Australia”.

In particular, his behavior may encourage or influence others to mimic his previous behavior and fail to comply with appropriate public health measures following a positive COVID-19 test result, which itself could lead to transmission of the disease and a serious risk to health and serious risk to their health and that of others,” said Mr Hawke.

In response to submissions, attorneys acting on behalf of the player have disputed that their client poses any risk to public health and safety.

“He has also made no attempt to break the laws of Australia,” a letter from the law firm Hall & Wilcox said.

“He is a person of good standing and a diplomat of the nation of Serbia.

“Not only is he the best tennis player in the world, but he is also known for his philanthropic efforts, including his generous donations to help with the coronavirus and help with bushfires in Australia.”

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