We are living in the times when vaccine certificates, and not borders, make the fences stronger. After losing the court battle against the Australian government, Novak Djokovic has flown out of the country. The world class tennis player was invited to the country to play at the Australian Open, however, he was asked to leave as he is not vaccinated against the novel coronavirus which has shaken the world since its arrival. Many in Australia were upset with the government for allowing unvaccinated people into the country no matter their status. The tennis star had earlier been granted a visa to enter Australia, with a COVID-19 infection on December 16 last. The recent infection had become a basis for a medical exemption from the host country’s vaccination requirement for a visa. The exemption was arranged with the help of Tennis Australia, which organizes many tennis tournaments in Australia.
Many Australians were angered at the government’s decision to grant Djokovic a visa in the first place. The country has faced extreme forms of lockdowns and more than 90% of adult Australians are vaccinated, hence, most of the public was of the opinion that the unvaccinated player should not be welcomed into the country. The number one tennis player in the world was detained and his visa was cancelled shortly after arrival at the Melbourne airport by the foreign minister of the country. The reason that was given was that his unvaccinated status would fan the flames of dissent and give rise to anti-vaxxer sentiments like in the United States.
Although it was wrong of the Australian government to invite the player first with the knowledge of his unvaccinated status, the country has to protect itself against the virus and vaccination is the only way. The country chose to protect itself and it has every right to do so especially in a time when there are many controversy mongers who may have used Djokovic’s unvaccinated status to their advantage. There is only one way to eliminate the threat of the virus and it is through vaccination. If big names such as that of Novak Djokovic choose to remain unvaccinated, many fans are likely to follow this non-compliance towards government orders, which may result in another wave hitting the country.