Tennis

Positive Covid test forces 600 Australian Open players & officials to isolate

A quarantine worker at a hotel where a large cohort of Australian Open tennis players and officials are staying ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2021 has tested positive for coronavirus, thrusting a large group of players and officials back into isolation.

An individual working at the Grand Hyatt Hotel tested positive on February 2, having last worked at the site on January 29.

Players, officials and support staff who have been staying at the Grand Hyatt have now been told to immediately isolate and get tested. The tournament is due to start on February 8.

While at this stage, there is no suggestion the Australian Open is under threat, it is anticipated that huge disruption will be caused to Thursday’s play in the warm-up events, which have been taking place at Melbourne Park this week.

‘There’s a number of about 500-600 players and officials and others who are casual contacts,’ Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew said at a press conference.

‘They will be isolating until they get a negative test and that work will be done tomorrow.

‘It may have an impact in tomorrow’s play in the lead-up event but at this stage there’s no impact to the tournament proper.

‘I must say, that’s important to us but the issues we’re focused on are much broader and that’s about public health and public safety and that’s why we’ve really pounced on this very quickly.’

The positive coronavirus test has sparked the reintroduction of restrictions across Victoria from midnight, with private gatherings reverting back to 15 people in a home and masks to be worn indoors.

Plans to expand office capacity limits which were due to come into effect on Monday have been paused.

Andrews urged for calm in the situation.

‘This is one case. There’s no need for people to panic,’ said Andrews. ‘There’s no need for people to be alarmed.

‘We Victorians know what to do, and we have proven, as a state, very successful at managing these sorts of outbreaks, these sorts of issues.’

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