Novak Djokovic may be free to return for 2023 Australian Open after government ruling over COVID-19 vaccinations

Novak Djokovic may be free to return to the Australian Open in January, despite being given a three-year visa ban after being expelled earlier this year.

The new Labor government has relaxed its rules on international arrivals so that foreigners no longer have to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The unvaccinated Djokovic found himself at the center of an international media frenzy when the Morrison government twice canceled his visa in January this year, with Djokovic winning one lawsuit but failing in a second before being deported.

Under Australian law, a deportation order is accompanied by a period of exclusion of up to three years.

The Ticket confirms that Djokovic’s management team is aware of the relaxation of the government’s immigration requirements. It is believed that it is considering requesting the lifting of its entry ban, as the reasons for the original visa cancellation are now outdated.

Djokovic didn’t get a chance to win a 10th Australian Open title this year after being evicted.Getty Images: Diego Fedele

The relaxed COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect from Wednesday based on the latest medical advice, Federal Health Secretary Mark Butler said.

“The Chief Medical Officer has advised that it is no longer necessary for travelers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID,” said Mr Butler.

Djokovic was initially granted a visa to enter Australia in January this year after presenting a certificate from the Serbian health authority confirming that he had recently recovered from COVID-19, one of the few exemptions available at the time, according to the ATAGI guidelines.

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