By Tom Brennan
Novak Djokovic won a court battle today to stay in Australia for the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19, but the government threatened to cancel his visa a second time.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated Djokovic’s visa, which was canceled after his arrival last week because officials decided he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption to an entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated.
The judge also ordered the government to release Djokovic within 30 minutes from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he had spent the previous four nights.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran told the judge after the ruling that the minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, “will consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation.”
That would mean Djokovic could again face deportation and could miss the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 17.