MELBOURNE: Australian Open Grand Slam players, officials and support staff will go into isolation after a worker at one of the event’s quarantine hotels tested positive for coronavirus.
Between 500 and 600 people will isolate until they have received a negative test. Thursday’s play at the six warm-up events at Melbourne Park is cancelled as a result.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said: “At this stage there is no impact on the tournament proper.”
Australian Open organisers said, “We will work with everyone involved to facilitate testing as quickly as possible.”
Organisers delayed the start of the Grand Slam tournament by three weeks to enable players to quarantine. The tournament starts on Monday.
In order to contain and suppress the virus, Australia imposed some of the world’s toughest restrictions over the past year. Strict border controls – both internationally and domestically – have helped limit Covid-19 cases to fewer than 29,000 and deaths to under 1,000.
Australian Open already delayed
18–31 January 2021 were the original dates for the Australian Open. However, due to the pandemic situation and the need for players to isolate the dates moved to 8–21 February 2021. For the first time ever, qualifying matches took place outside Australia.
Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin are the defending singles champions.