Australian Open preparations have been thrown into confusion as up to 600 officials, and players isolate and expect test results after a hotel team member tested coronavirus positive.
The Australian Open is unlikely to be cancelled as international players are only considered at low risk of the virus from a hotel quarantine worker.
Approx 520 support staff and players have undergone quarantining at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne CBD hotel, are in isolation, and will test under the precautionary measure. Australia’s Matt Ebden uploaded a picture on social media telling he had had the COVID test on Thursday and was awaiting results before the scheduled start of the year’s first grand slam on February 8th.
Thursday’s matches at Open tune-up events at Melbourne Park were cancelled, while Tennis Australia says it will declare Friday’s schedule.
On Wednesday night, after having a 10:30 pm press conference, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews gave an update on Thursday morning.
Mr Andrews said, “This must not influence the tournament proper; however, these things can vary.”
The Australian Open has displayed a gist of discussion for some in Victoria, which have been cautious of the dangers of flying a large number of foreign guests into Melbourne. Still, Mr Andrews said the Victorian Government had taken all it could to assure the tournament could continue in the securest way possible for the public and players.
He said, “I think I have truly explained that those related to the Australian Open do not get a different or a special treatment.”
The hotel worker’s 2 family members he lives with have not tested coronavirus positive. Some 72 players were made into hard quarantine for 14 days later positive tests following the 18 charter flights to Australia, with one player with those affected.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Professor Allen Cheng, said the coronavirus risk to the staff and players is low.
Professor Cheng said, “we have asked for testing of all tennis players, supporting staff, and other people in that hotel.”
He said, “The tennis players and their accompanying staff were in the rooms, so the risk of the virus is relatively low. So we are testing them to be sure, and for precautions.”