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Scott Morrison says Novak Djokovic will ‘be on the next plane home’ without ‘sufficient’ exemption 

Scott Morrison fires warning shot at Novak Djokovic saying he’ll ‘be on the next plane HOME’ if he doesn’t have ‘sufficient’ evidence for a vaccine medical exemption


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned tennis superstar Novak Djokovic will be banned from entering Australia unless he provides ‘sufficient’ evidence to support his  vaccination exemption.

The men’s world number one is due to arrive in Melbourne on Wednesday night to defend his Australian Open crown, 24 hours after he announced he was on his way Down Under. 

As public outrage over Djokovic’s exemption rages on, the Prime Minister fired a brutal swipe at the Serbian tennis star and insists he won’t receive special treatment upon arrival.

He also warned the 20-time grand slam winner will be on the first plane back home if he doesn’t have the evidence to support his medical exemption to enter Australia.

Novak Djokovic (pictured at the 2021 Australian Open) is expected to arrive in Melbourne on Wednesday night

‘My view is that any individual seeking to enter Australia must comply with our border requirements,’ he told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

‘Now Novak Djokovic, when he arrives in Australia, he has to if he’s not vaccinated, must provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers. 

‘So we await his presentation and what evidence he provides us to support that. 

‘If that evidence is insufficient, then he will be treated no different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home. 

‘There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever.’ 

He added that any exemption given to Djokovic will still have to stack up upon arrival in Australia. 

‘There are other cases — there are quite a number over the last couple of years — where people have had these exemptions and have the suitable proof to support their claim in those circumstances,’ Mr Morrison said.

“So the circumstance is not unique. The issue is whether he has sufficient evidence to support that he would qualify for the exemption.”

Scott Morrison (pictured on Wednesday) insists Novak Djokovic will receive no special treatment upon arrival in Melbourne

Scott Morrison (pictured on Wednesday) insists Novak Djokovic will receive no special treatment upon arrival in Melbourne

A short time earlier, Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews warned border officials could step in.

‘While the Victorian government and Tennis Australia may permit a non-vaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border,’ she said.

‘Since 15 December 2021 fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption, and enter eligible states and territories quarantine free.

‘If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travellers.

‘Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our strict border requirements.

‘No individual competing at the Australian Open will be afforded any special treatment.

‘Quarantine requirements for international arrivals in Victoria, including for non-vaccinated individuals, are a matter for the Victorian government.’

The grounds for Djokovic’s exemption under the ATAGI guidelines have remained private. 

The federal government’s comments follow  growing calls for the tennis star to personally explain how he got approval to enter Australia to contest the grand slam later this month without showing his vaccination status.

Novak Djokovic (with wife Jelena) will be sent on the first plane home if he can't provide evidence to support his vaccination exemption

Novak Djokovic (with wife Jelena) will be sent on the first plane home if he can’t provide evidence to support his vaccination exemption

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