Australian Open to go ahead despite COVID-19 case–organizers

Australian Open

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2018. Tennis balls are pictured in entrance of the Australian Open brand earlier than the tennis event. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

MELBOURNE— The Australian Open will start as scheduled on Monday although a employee at one of many Melbourne lodges used to quarantine gamers and their entourages examined optimistic for COVID-19, event director Craig Tiley stated on Thursday.

Thursday’s warm-up matches at Melbourne Park have been referred to as off after the case was introduced late on Wednesday, and those that underwent quarantine on the Grand Hyatt lodge have been instructed to get examined and isolate till that they had a outcome.

“We’re absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead,” Tiley advised reporters in Melbourne. “We are starting on Monday.”

Tiley stated the 507 folks affected, 160 of them gamers, would have their checks accomplished by late Thursday afternoon.

If the outcomes have been unfavourable, the gamers could be free to take part within the six warm-up occasions on the venue of the Grand Slam to permit them to get some match follow after 14 days in quarantine.

“This does give us three days for the lead-in events to be completed,” he stated, including that the draw for the Grand Slam event had been postponed from Thursday to Friday.

Earlier, Victoria state well being officers stated the testing of the tennis cohort was precautionary.

“We think the risk to other guests in the hotel – tennis players and their accompanying staff – is relatively low,” Professor Allen Cheng advised reporters.

Victoria endured one of many longest and hardest lockdowns on the planet to comprise the brand new coronavirus, and Wednesday’s case was the primary to be domestically acquired within the state for nearly a month.

State Premier Dan Andrews has made it clear that the protection of the neighborhood is paramount and stated there have been “no guarantees” the Australian Open would go ahead.

“At this stage, the tennis shouldn’t be impacted by this,” he advised reporters. “These things can change (but) this has been a textbook response to this.”

Michael O’Brien, the chief of the opposition in Victoria’s state parliament, referred to as on the federal government to make a name by Saturday on whether or not the event would go ahead.

“We don’t want to see a situation as we did with the Grand Prix, where crowds were literally turning up, only to be turned away,” he advised Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper. “I think people are entitled to know what’s happening, and the government should be making their minds up in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

The Australian Grand Prix, the normal season opener of the Formula One championship, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic final March a number of hours earlier than the vehicles have been due to take to the observe at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

Tiley rejected the comparability.

“The probability is very low that there’ll been issue. We expect them all to test negative,” he stated. “The plan is to continue to play tomorrow as planned.”

Tiley, who has loads of expertise of rescheduling matches due to rain, scorching climate and bushfire smoke, stated the order of play for Friday, when moist climate is forecast, could be launched in a while Thursday.

“With the rain, we do have the luxury of having three stadium courts and eight indoor courts,” he stated. “That will enable us to not get ahead but at least be able to finish by Sunday.”

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