Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia on Thursday after authorities said he did not meet Covid-19 vaccination requirements.
Soon after the decision, he was taken to the Park Hotel, a quarantine facility in Melbourne, after being held at the city’s airport overnight and was told he would be removed from the country later on Thursday.
The Park Hotel is used by the Australian government to detain refugees and asylum seekers and has been a focal point of anger for protesters against the government’s hostile immigration policies.
The hotel has housed government detainees since December 2020, many of them held for years while seeking visas to remain in Australia. The hotel has held people flown to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru.
The world’s best tennis player will not be alone in the hotel – more than two dozen people are currently held there.
There has been criticism in the Australian media of conditions inside the hotel. In October, there was a Covid outbreak in which more than 20 people tested positive.
Salah Mustafa, who was held at the hotel, told The Guardian: “I sit in the room and I am afraid. We are all afraid.
“Today, I am negative, my son is negative. But tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, what then? Everywhere is infection.
“We are trapped here. We are stuck in our rooms, waiting [for] this virus to come.”