Waiving Novak Djokovic’s visa ban to let him play the Australian Open would be a “slap in the face” for Australian people who vaccinated for Covid-19, Australian politician Karen Andrews said today.

Djokovic was deported from Australia in the lead-up to the Grand Slam in January for refusing to be vaccinated and is barred from the country until 2025, but can have his three-year visa ban waived by the government.

Australia scrapped its Covid travel rules in July, something Djokovic said was “positive news” on his bid to play next year’s Open.

But Ms Andrews said on ABC radio that the rule change should have no bearing on Djokovic’s case.

“There would have been other people in similar circumstances that have also had their visas cancelled,” she said.

“So if immigration now chooses to make a special allowance for Novak Djokovic the obvious question is what are they going to do about anyone else who may be in similar circumstances?”

Australia’s immigration department said that it does not comment on individual cases.

Andrews said lifting Djokovic’s ban would be a “slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing (and) got vaccinated.”

“(Why should) Novak Djokovic be allowed back into the country simply because he’s a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars?” she added.

“It shouldn’t be just one rule for (him) and a different rule for everyone else.”