Sadly the coronavirus cannot tell the difference between a member of the public travelling to Australia to see family and a top tennis player.
To a virus all humans look the same.
Should Novak Djokovic have been allowed to play in the Australian open tennis championship?
It is confusing because he was initially allowed a medical exemption from the vaccination, overruled by the federal government which then lost their case.
Finally, three judges ruled that he should be deported.
I do not know the intricacies of the Australian immigration system but there is a principle that everyone must be treated in exactly the same way.
If someone unvaccinated visiting friends or family would not be allowed in, then the same rules must apply to a top tennis player.
Over two thirds of Australians wanted him deported from the beginning.
A friend’s daughter is an emergency medicine doctor on the front line in Melbourne. They have suffered a terrible pandemic with long and tough lockdowns and are still facing a crisis.
She is working incredibly long hours. People are dying.
I can understand why the people of Melbourne are so angry with Djokovic.
The Australian immigration rules are tough.
Some years ago a colleague applied to work as a GP in Australia.
Although British born, attended school and university in Britain and spoke no other language, he had to produce written evidence that he spoke English.
He managed to dig up his old English GCE certificate. I am not sure I could find mine. They must have accepted his evidence as he is now an Australian citizen.
I keep hearing about people with ‘medical reasons not to be vaccinated’ but this is very rare.
I checked the British National Formulary, the bible for drugs, which gives the only contraindication to the AstraZeneca vaccine as a history of the very rare “capillary leak syndrome” as well as thrombosis... following a previous dose.
If someone has a risk of thrombosis they can still have the Pfizer or Moderna.
The other problem is severe allergy but even here the rule is not absolute. It depends on the allergy.
It may be possible to have a different Covid vaccine and worth getting professional medical advice.
As with any medical treatment it is important to compare any tiny risk with the vaccine against the risk of getting Covid.
The chances of a rare blood clot with the AstraZeneca vaccine is much lower than the chances of a blood clot with Covid.
Despite the low risk, anyone under 40 is not being given AstraZeneca in the UK.
It is very important that most people with a low immunity get the vaccine although, again they should get medical advice.
When the vaccines were first used there was the question whether they were safe for pregnant women.
We now know that not only are they safe but essential.
Tragically, some pregnant women have died from Covid and we know that the vaccination can save lives.
Djokovic has been opposed to vaccines throughout the pandemic.
He arranged the Adria tennis Tour in June 2020 in Serbia and Croatia, ignoring Covid measures and many players went down with Covid.
He had a positive PCR test to Covid on December 16. The following day there are a series of pictures showing him presenting awards to young players without wearing a mask.
In Serbia, he has been hailed as a martyr.
Despite his mother’s claims, staying in a quarantine hotel is not torture.
Try telling the real victims of torture that their ordeal was no worse than staying in a low-grade hotel.
The expulsion has even compared to the crucifixion of Jesus but, to quote Monty Python, he’s not the Messiah, just a very naughty boy.
In the UK and Australia, vaccination against Covid is not compulsory. It is a personal choice but a choice which has consequences. Djokovic choose not the have the vaccine.
The Australian Government choose to make him face the consequences.
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