After the arrival of fifth positive COVID test from the charter flights bringing players, coaches, officials and media to Melbourne for the season-opening tennis major, the 72 players will remain quarantine that means they won’t be allowed to leave their hotel room or practice for 14 days. Meanwhile other players who are in a less severe condition will be allowed to practice for five hours daily.
On late Sunday Australian open Organizers confirmed that the latest case involved a passenger from Doha, Quatar to Melbourne who was not a player but all 58 passengers, including the 25 players, now they all are quarantine for 14 days in their hotel rooms.
After the arrival of three positive cases from a charter flight that arrived from los Angeles and one on flight Abu Dhabi, total 47 players have to remain in isolation for 14 days.
Some players have expressed anger at being classified as close contacts merely for being on board those flights with people who later tested positive, but health authorities have warned all players of the risks in advance.
Some people were “testing” or challenging the quarantine procedures, but there’d been no attempts to escape quarantine, Said by Victoria state’s COVID-19 quarantine commissioner Emma Cassar in a news conference on Sunday. Cassar also said that there’ll be “zero tolerance for that behavior.” She also said there’d be no change in the regular quarantine regulations for the playing group.
“This is designed to make people safe,” Cassar also added. “We make no apologies for that.”
On Saturday the first three positive tests were announced and on Sunday the fourth and fifth cases were confirmed, all five cases had tested negative before boarding their flights to Australia. But now All have been transferred to a health hotel for self isolation.
So far, no players have returned a positive test since landing in Australia.
Australian Open organizers said 17 charters flights from seven international destinations brought up to 1,200 people to Australia for the tennis. The Australian Open starts Feb. 8 following a week of warmup tournaments at Melbourne Park and the ATP Cup.