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Australia Visa: Novak Djokovic deported

Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after losing a last-ditch court bid to stay in the country.

Judges rejected a challenge by the unvaccinated tennis star after the government cancelled his visa on “health and good order” grounds.

Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” but accepted the ruling. He has left on a flight to Dubai.

The ruling marks the end of a 10-day saga, in which the Serb fought to stay to defend his title in the Australian Open.

Djokovic’s supporters fell silent outside the courtroom as the decision was announced on the eve of what would have been his opening match in the tournament.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe.

According to BBC, Djokovic launched his case after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his powers to cancel his visa, arguing his presence in the country risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.

During Sunday’s court hearing before a three-judge panel, Djokovic’s defence unsuccessfully argued that the grounds given by the government were illogical because to deport the star also risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.

Chief Justice James Allsop said the court ruling was based on the legality of the minister’s decision, not on whether it was the right decision to make.

He promised to release the full reasoning for the ruling in the coming days.

Djokovic was originally granted a medical exemption to enter Australia by two different independent health panels – one commissioned by Tennis Australia, the other by the state government of Victoria – after testing positive for coronavirus in mid-December.

However, the Australian Border Force detained him on 5 January for not meeting federal coronavirus requirements, and his visa was revoked.

A judge overturned that decision but the government stepped in last Friday to revoke the visa again, saying it was in the public interest.