three extra COVID-19 circumstances linked to Australian Open arrivals

Australian Open event director Craig Tiley has dominated out any change within the best-of-five set format for males’s singles matches on the season-opening tennis main as three extra COVID-19 circumstances — two of them gamers — have been reported among the many worldwide arrivals for the event.

There are 72 gamers now in laborious quarantine and unable to observe due to 9 lively coronavirus circumstances among the many incoming vacationers to Melbourne. There was no fast indication from well being officers Tuesday that there can be any enhance within the variety of affected gamers.

A Tennis Australia spokeswoman declined to supply the AP with an inventory of the 72 gamers, however many have made their standing recognized through posts on social media.

In excellent news for gamers in lockdown, there have been strategies that some is perhaps allowed to depart their rooms for observe earlier than the 14-day laborious quarantine interval.

Greater than 1,200 gamers, coaches, employees, officers and media have arrived on 17 constitution flights since final Thursday to arrange for the Australian Open, which begins Feb. 8. COVID-19 circumstances have been linked to a few flights, from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Doha, Qatar; and Los Angeles.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews mentioned a number of the circumstances linked to the event shall be reclassified as “non-infectious shedding,” probably permitting modifications for some gamers in lockdown.

“In the event you’ve obtained, say, 30 people who find themselves deemed an in depth contact as a result of they have been on a airplane with a case, and the case is now not an lively case however a historic shedding, nicely, that may launch these folks from that onerous lockdown,” Andrews mentioned.

All folks touring to Australia for the tennis event needed to return a adverse check earlier than boarding the constitution flights, though there was a minimum of one exemption within the case of the historic shedding.

Tennys Sandgren, a two-time quarterfinalist at Melbourne Park, initially examined constructive for the coronavirus in November and the Victorian state well being authorities decided after reviewing the American participant’s medical data that he was now not contagious, though nonetheless shedding viral particles. So he was given approval to fly to Australia final week.

“My two exams have been lower than Eight weeks aside. I used to be sick in November, completely wholesome now,” Sandgren tweeted. “There’s not a single documented case the place I might be contagious at this level. Completely recovered!”

Tiley, showing on 9 Community tv on Tuesday, rejected calls from some males’s gamers to cut back Australian Open matches to best-of-three units as a substitute of greatest of 5.

“We’re a Grand Slam,” Tiley mentioned. “Proper now, three out of 5 units for the lads and two out of three units for the ladies is the place we plan on sticking to.”

Some gamers have used social media to element their perceived hardships of being in lockdown.

“These are high-performing athletes and it’s laborious to maintain a high-performing athlete in a room,” Tiley mentioned. “That is the contribution that they should make with a view to get the privilege of once they do come out to compete for $80 million ($62 million U.S.) in prize cash.”

Tiley mentioned the constructive exams amongst a number of the arriving gamers and officers weren’t a shock.

“There was going to be an expectation to have a number of constructive circumstances,” Tiley mentioned. “However now we’re ready the place they’re in lockdown, designed to guard the group.”

Tiley defended Novak Djokovic for interesting to Australian Open organizers to ease restrictions in an inventory reported on Monday, together with a request to shift as many gamers as attainable in Melbourne to personal residences with tennis courts.

Djokovic’s requests have been rapidly refused by Andrews.

“Within the case of Novak, he wrote a be aware. These weren’t calls for — they have been strategies,” Tiley mentioned. “However he, too, is knowing what two weeks of lockdown means … each participant coming down knew that in the event that they have been going to be shut contacts or check constructive that these have been going to be the circumstances.”

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka tweeted her assist on Tuesday for these in quarantine, asking for understanding of the scenario in Melbourne and the remainder of Australia.

A smaller group of gamers who landed within the South Australia capital of Adelaide, together with Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, are additionally allowed outdoors for observe periods beneath bio-secure protocols.

The season-opening Grand Slam occasion was delayed for 3 weeks due to the pandemic.

Australia’s worldwide borders are largely closed, though there are exemptions in particular circumstances. All arrivals should do necessary quarantine. Every of Australia’s states and territories has its personal border and journey restrictions, and people can change on very brief discover.

Victoria state, which has Melbourne as its capital, accounted for 810 of Australia’s 909 deaths from COVID-19, most of these throughout a lethal second wave three months in the past that resulted in curfews and lockdowns for the town.

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