Relief for Australian Open as players, officials test negative for COVID-19

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Organizers of Australian Open on Friday said that there were no new coronavirus cases, putting the Grand Slam tournament back on track after Covid scare.

Plans for Australian Open were thrown into disarray when a worker at one of the designated tournament hotels was infected with the virus.

Around 500 players and officials were ordered to take tests and isolate themselves until they received the results. As a result, six warm-up tournaments were suspended on Thursday but were resumed back on Friday at Melbourne Park.

“All tests conducted on AO (Australian Open) quarantine participants yesterday have returned negative results,” said a tweet on the tournament’s official Twitter account.

State authorities and the Australian public are extremely wary of the covid-19 cases after Melbourne spent four months in lockdown until late October.

Despite the scare, Craig Tiley, Director of Australian Open said that he was confident fans would still be able to attend matches this week and the Australian Open, which started on Monday.

“Spectators will continue to be allowed in the site, and we are still selling tickets,” he said Friday.

“The site will be an extremely safe place. There are health checks, contact tracing set up, divided into zones, physical distancing. At this point there’s no change to our position on crowds,” he added.

The daily crowd allowed at the Australian Open are in between 25,000 and 30,000 which is about half the attendance of last year.

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