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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Factbox: Australian hotel where Novak Djokovic is being kept

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A general view of the Park Hotel, believed to be holding Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, Australia January 6, 2022. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders

World number one tennis player 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, a source close to the tournament told Reuters.

Following are some facts about the hotel, which has been used to house asylum-seekers.

– In Carlton, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, the Park Hotel was previously known as Rydges on Swanston, and is close to the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital.

– The hotel has housed government detainees since December 2020, many of them held for years while seeking visas to remain in Australia. More than two dozen are there now.

 

Activists have held protests against their detention outside the hotel and there are messages on the exterior of the hotel and on the ground outside it against detentions and in support of detainees.

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– The hotel’s website bills it as a “luxurious 4.5-star hotel set in a prime location”. It has 107 rooms, all air-conditioned.

– In October last year, there was a COVID-19 outbreak among refugees and asylum-seekers being held there.

– In December, a fire at the hotel led to minor injuries, according to media. The cause has not been determined.

– Soon afterwards, some of the detainees complained that their food contained maggots and mould, according to media.

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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