Avoid travel to Australia now that Novak Djokovic is on the loose?

“Novak Djokovic Can Remain in Australia, Judge Rules” (NYT):

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, moved one step closer to competing for his record 21st Grand Slam title after an Australian judge ordered his release from immigration detention on Monday, the latest turn in a five-day saga over his refusal to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

Restoring the visa does not, however, guarantee that Djokovic will be able to vie for his 10th Open title when the tournament begins next Monday. In court, the government’s lawyers warned that the immigration minister could still cancel his visa, which would lead to an automatic three-year ban on his entering the country.

Hosting international sports events now involves navigating ever-evolving public health and border security rules, including the management of vaccine mandates on athletes who see themselves as high priests of their own bodies and their sports.

Australians have rushed to meet vaccine mandates, and endured lockdowns and closed borders. Many have little tolerance for a star who is notorious for preaching junk science and who, in the view of some, gained special treatment by receiving a vaccination exemption in the middle of Australia’s worst bout with the virus.

(Notice that it is not the Covidcrats dispensing the Science-informed rules who are “high priests”. Similarly, the folks who told the general public to wear bandanas as PPE are not guilty of “preaching junk science.”)

I wonder if we should avoid travel to Australia now that Djokovic is free. The country had only 587,971 active cases, according to its government. With Novak Djokovic in the stadium, there is now a real possibility of 587,972 cases.

Also from the NYT, “At an Australian Hotel, Djokovic Is Not the Only Cause of Controversy”:

A separate group of protesters held signs proclaiming “refugees welcome” and “nine years too long.” They were drawing attention to a very different cause: the well-being of about 30 asylum seekers who have been held at the Park Hotel much longer than Mr. Djokovic, the Australian Open champion.

Since December 2020, the Australian Border Force has used the hotel to house refugees who had been held for years on remote Pacific islands, under Australia’s much-criticized offshore detention policy for asylum seekers who try to reach the country by boat. Those at the Park Hotel were brought to Australia for medical treatment, but they cannot leave the hotel for any other reason, and they do not know how long they will be kept there.

Several asylum seekers said the windows of their rooms had been screwed shut, denying them access to fresh air. In October and November, a coronavirus outbreak swept through their ranks. At one point, 22 of the 46 asylum seekers who were then being held at the hotel had Covid.

“We cannot get out of the hotel,” said Mehdi Ali, a 24-year-old Iranian refugee. “We’re surrounded by walls.”

Australia’s offshore detention policy has been criticized at home and abroad for years. According to the Australian government’s statistics, as of September, 117 asylum seekers had been in detention for five years or more, and several for more than 10 years. That number has been declining in recent years, as dozens of refugees moved to the United States after being vetted by the American authorities, under a deal brokered during President Barack Obama’s administration.

This sounds like good news for the U.S. Treasury. If the standard path out of Australian immigration detention is U.S. residence and citizenship, as the NYT informs us, it is only a matter of time before Novak Djokovic abandons his tax-free home in Monte Carlo to become a U.S. taxpayer.


  • If Djokovic is destined to follow other Australia immigration detainees into U.S. citizenship, perhaps he’ll want to live free of state income tax next to 20 clay courts at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center (owned by the city, but as nice as any country club)
  • mask laws in Victoria (Djokovic was being released into a society where “Wearing a mask is required for everyone aged 8 and above in all indoor settings in Victoria” and “We strongly recommend wearing a mask if you can’t physically distance, even if you are outdoors,…”)
  • Karen wants Novak home… “Australia should send Novak Djokovic Home” (Washington Post, Eugene Karen Robinson, 1/10): I’d remember the repeated lockdowns that were among the strictest and most punishing in the world. … I’d want the government to use all its power to bar him anyway. … I’d refuse to watch him play … Djokovic, however, is well-known as anti-vaccine. … Djokovic’s exemption may be technically correct … but it is morally wrong and contravenes the spirit of Australian law. … Morrison’s government can, and should, still kick him out. … Aussies have more than done their part to fight the pandemic.”

Update: I found a chart that explains everything.

29 thoughts on “Avoid travel to Australia now that Novak Djokovic is on the loose?

  1. If he was a woman, wouldn’t feminism demand that she has control over what goes into her body and when, and only with her consent? In other words, the common demands of the feminist movement (in various “waves”) sound very similar to those of an elite athlete who doesn’t want mRNA injected into their body.

    It seems like a double standard to me! The likelihood of this elite tennis player becoming a superspreader are vanishingly low. In fact, the most important superspreading event happened in Boston, very early on, among otherwise intelligent biotech executives! So why don’t they leave him alone?

    Well, we can guess…

    • And in a much more droll sense: “I am not concerned about Novak Djokovic’s effects on public health, and I would visit Australia tomorrow – regardless of his proclivities. The minds of Australian politicians are beginning to worry me, though. I think they are becoming more insane and in fact have been insane for a long time now.

    • Joel: We escaped to the Florida Free State in mid-August 2021, so our only worries now are which Orlando theme park to escape to any time that a hurricane threatens the Palm Beach County coast.

  2. “Hosting international sports events now involves navigating ever-evolving public health and border security rules, including the management of vaccine mandates on athletes who see themselves as high priests of their own bodies and their sports.”

    I’m deeply touched by the NYT commiserating with the harrowed bureaucrats who have to deal with rebellious work horses. Thank you for your continued support of the nomenklatura!

    • The U.S., I think, established different rules for sports stars versus peasants. Ordinary Europeans couldn’t come to the U.S., for example, but tennis stars had no trouble getting to New York for the August 2021 U.S. Open.

  3. 1. if he had any intention of coming to Australian Open he knew the conditions to enter were either vaccination or recovery status. He has been firmly against vaccination (and would have been far too late to go through valid vaccination schedule) but he conveniently got his recovery certificate two weeks before travelling. So either a professional athlete counts on his international travel to be dependent on a random mild infection at convenient times that happens to fall within the ever changing validity status of any particular country/event, or… there’s a doctor who happily prescribes and signs whatever the client wants. There’s been a few of those in professional sports.

    2. he’s been photographed at a public event the day after supposedly testing positive

    3. he clearly lied on his application saying he didn’t travel in the two weeks prior to entry. At the minimum he went from Serbia to Spain within that time period and it wasn’t a stopover on the flight to Australia. Anyone else but a celebrity would be promptly escorted to the next flight home and fined just for that.

    • otuz: Thanks for your perspective. I’m not sure that Point 2 is surprising. See https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2022/01/08/omicronicles-the-high-schooler-tests-positive-and-then-goes-to-school/ for how a teenager in Massachusetts went to school after testing positive. For the truly Deplorable Deniers of Science, those who don’t want to get respiratory viruses should hide in their bunkers, wear N95 masks, hide in their bunkers while wearing N95 masks, etc. Therefore, it is not inconsistent to be infected and out and about, unmasked. By definition, from this perspective, any person whom one might encounter would be someone indifferent to infection with SARS-CoV-2 (since the COVID-averse would be in bunkers elsewhere).

      Point 3 does sound bad, but we should perhaps still consider the reasonableness of the Australian regulations before condemning those who fail to comply. Nobody has ever explained how travel restrictions can make sense when a country is already thoroughly plagued (this applies equally to the U.S.; why do we demand that someone by air from Germany test negative for Covid when we have 1.5 million new cases per day generated locally?). If the government posted a speed limit of 10 kph (I think you’re writing from Europe so I will refrain from using English units!) on a 6-lane divided highway, everyone would fail to comply, right? Should we judge those people as harshly as those who fail to comply with a speed limit of 140 kph?

    • I do agree with point 1 of the message. D’s travel is similar a situation when a bikini clad young blond comes to sunbathe on an Afghani public beach (not sure if there any beaches in Afghanistan), and then complains about harassment by the locals, or worse, in a sharia court. She may even win.

    • In cooperation with “Der Spiegel”, which is no longer a serious magazine. The decline has been even sharper than that of the NYT.

      Recently “Der Spiegel” published an unhinged rant about the “think-plague” that infests free thinkers, believers in natural medicine, the vaccine hesitant and (naturally) the “right wing”. Everyone should watch State Television and read “Der Spiegel” to counteract the “think-plague”!

      Maybe the blog post is correct. but this cooperation is a red flag for me.

    • Already refuted:


      “Absolutely wrong.
      Timestamp is the time of pdf download. Every time you repeat the process timestamp will change.
      Difference in confirmation code is because he used 2 different state labs on 16th and 22nd.
      Very poor analysis, I have to conclude.”

      Sounds like “Der Spiegel” was desperate to find some dirt on a class enemy.

  4. Probably a million “man” hours have been spent on analyzing the bureaucratic details of the Djokovic case and denouncing him as an “egomaniac”.

    All publications together printed out would easily cover the distance between Serbia and Australia. Yet none of them mentions the crucial point: Even the CDC now admits that the vaccine does not stop transmission, so it is irrelevant if Djokovic is vaccinated or not.

    • Well, we are talking about the government’s credibility here.

      It is hard to rationalize making an exception for a foreigner, however famous, while making it rather hard for their own citizens, or even impossible for financial reasons, to return to Australia.


      It is immaterial whether or not the current self-imposed Australian sheep incarceration makes sense or whether or not D did that or this. It is a matter of survival for the ruling “elite”, and if I were in their shoes I’d send D packing tomorrow under any technicality. Perhaps, they will.

    • Ivan: You raise a good point. The U.S. has had totally different rules for famous foreigners and peasant foreigners. The famous/important could come in during our purported border closure (the southern border remained wide open for anyone able to walk, of course!) while European peasants were forbidden until November 2021, right? But it was never the case that a famous European had better access to the U.S. than someone holding a U.S. passport. (I guess we could argue that asylum-seekers walking across the border were treated better than American citizens returning from Europe. The asylum-seekers didn’t have to get tested for COVID-19, comply with vaccine orders, etc.)

    • Ivan: The “elites” need to keep face, but they have other methods of survival:


      “Marcus Hellyer, a senior analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the Australian government had decided that it wants to maintain the ability to engage in “close combat” in urban environments as part of counter-insurgency operations.”

    • A: I do not know much about Australia political scenery neither do I care much — it’s still a democracy and people reveal their preferences by voting (yet).

      Nevertheless, Scott Morrison’s is an interesting case per se. He’s a hard core immigration restrictionist, as far as one can see, a true Nazi in the NYT readers’ eyes. So, this convergence of what is mainly left tinted position (at least in this country) with respect to the virus draconian rules with his penchant towards strict immigration rules is very interesting indeed.

    • Today, everyone in Australia can breath a sigh of relief !

      As I expected, they did cancel D’s visa for a second time. He stubbornly refuses to leave, but at this point, I believe he has almost no chance to stay.

      “An online poll by the News Corp media group found that 83 percent favoured the government trying to deport the tennis star.”

    • Ivan: Thanks for that. I am pleased to see that 83 percent of Australians agree with me about the plague-inducing potential of just one heretic. I wonder if Australians, when looking at their exponential plague curve, will start using the expression “anti-vaxxer in the woodpile.”

  5. Nole files for medical exemption with a deadline on Dec. 10th, but is tested positive on Dec. 16th. He must be a time traveler.

    As far as refuted timestamps… true or not, it’s far easier for him to get a fake valid certificate from an easily influenced doctor than to forge a certificate.

    • (But, even if it were possible for a migration to be illegal, hasn’t a judge already ruled that Djolovic’s visit actually was legal? Who knows more about what is legal than a judge?)

  6. The comments above speculating that Djokovic arranged for some fake documentation make me wonder… if Djokovic were going to get fake documentation, why wouldn’t he just do the simple thing and get a fake vaccination credential? Every church loves a reformed sinner, so he would win fans as well as easily meet all bureaucratic requirements in Australia and other travel destinations.

    The anti-Djokovic theory is that he (1) was smart enough to get fakes of any required documents, and (2) was not smart enough to figure out that proof of vaccination was the most useful document to have?

  7. The Djokovic saga makes it clear that “following the rules” is as important as “following the science”. Stefanos Tsitsipas gives the real reason for vaccine mandates:


    “Tsitsipas, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s French Open final, said nearly everyone at the Melbourne tournament had been vaccinated.”

    Others, he said, “chose to follow their own way which kind of makes the majority look like they’re all fools.”

  8. Djokovic is a vegan, practices yoga and is against genetically modified food. Shouldn’t the woke praise him? Is it strange that he refuses the mRNA sacrament?

    Quotes from: https://www.oregonlive.com/books/2013/10/novak_djokovics_gluten-free_di.html

    Djokovic often got sick during tournaments, and his competitors mocked him for it. “Cramps, bird flu, anthrax, SARS, common cough and cold,” Andy Roddick said. “I think he’s a joke, you know, when it comes down to his injuries,” Federer said.

    Once Djokovic changed his diet, the illnesses went away and the joke was on those who laughed at him. His low point was the 2010 Australian Open, when he collapsed in a match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The next year he won three Grand Slams and 43 straight matches.

    Djokovic is no fan of genetically modified food, and quotes William Davis’ “Wheat Belly” that “thousands of new strains (of wheat) have made it to the human commercial food supply without a single effort at safety testing.”

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