Fans to return: Limited crowds allowed back at Australian Open

Crowds will return to the Australian Open on Thursday, but it remains unclear exactly how many people will be allowed into Melbourne Park.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lifting of a five-day lockdown from midnight on Wednesday, but said crowds for larger events will be done on a “case by case” basis.

Multiple sources familiar with the health department’s negotiations with Tennis Australia have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that crowds will be able to attend the tennis from Thursday morning, but more detail would be provided later on Wednesday.

Prior to Friday night’s lockdown – which added another financial blow to Tennis Australia in terms of ticket sales – up to 30,000 fans were allowed inside Melbourne Park each day for the first week of the tournament, with people separated in three different zones.

Tennis Australia has been contacted for comment.

“The criteria is every case on its merits,” Premier Andrews said.

“We go through and work through what is a safe number and will get that decision made as soon as possible. That advice will be out there for people as soon as possible. They were already reduced [crowd numbers at the Open] but may have to be reduced further. That matter will be resolved in the next few hours.”

Tickets to the Australian Open have been readvertised after no new cases overnight.

Ticketmaster have listed available tickets for competition on Thursday for the night session at Rod Laver Arena, with adult tickets ranging from $94.00 – $495.00 each.

The tickets were advertised before the state government officially confirmed the loosening on restrictions at a press conference.

The relisting of Open tickets comes as world No.1 Novak Djokovic says the ruling sentiment among tennis players is that the season should be called off if it cannot proceed without quarantine.

Djokovic said the Australian Open experience had proved gruelling for everyone and led to a rash of injuries to major players.

More to come

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