THE DJOKOVIC case throws up very important questions about the way the world operates as it tries to get over the pandemic.

Australia’s rules, made by its democratically elected government, seemed clear: no entry without double vaccination.

Yet Novak Djokovic has been smuggled in through a loophole: he was fortunate to acquire the infection in mid-December because it has entitled him to a medical exemption to the vaccination rules.

Without the infection and without vaccinations, he wouldn’t have been allowed entry.

So is this the way the world is going to be run from now on: superstars are going to be able to swan around without obeying the rules – Djokovic doesn’t seem to have been very good at even following Serbia’s self-isolation rules – while everyone else gets jabbed, wears masks and stays at home. This is why there is so much anger at the Downing Street lockdown parties: there cannot be one rule for the elite and different, tighter rules for the ordinary.

Djokovic is a brilliant tennis player but he doesn’t come out of this at all well. He may have principled objections to the vaccination but he has put those principles to one side and used a loophole to carry on playing tennis. He hasn’t sought to explain why the unvaccinated should be welcomed with open arms in a foreign country.

His family have made much of the poor conditions in which he has been held in an immigration detention hotel, conditions which shame Australia. Perhaps Djokovic could use his experience to help the others held for years without the hope of a loophole through which to crawl out.