Three more COVID-19 cases linked to Australian Open arrivals

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Greater than 1,200 gamers, coaches, workers, officers and media have arrived on 17 constitution flights since final Thursday to put together for the Australian Open, which begins Feb. 8.

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 more COVID-19 cases had been reported among the many worldwide arrivals for the event.

There are 72 gamers now in onerous quarantine and unable to follow due to 9 lively coronavirus cases — a rise in three for the reason that weekend — among the many incoming vacationers to Melbourne. There was no rapid indication from well being officers Tuesday that there can be any improve within the variety of affected gamers.

In excellent news for gamers in lockdown, there have been strategies that some could also be allowed to depart their rooms for follow earlier than the 14-day onerous quarantine interval.

Greater than 1,200 gamers, coaches, workers, officers and media have arrived on 17 constitution flights since final Thursday to put together for the Australian Open, which begins Feb. 8. COVID-19 cases have been linked to three flights, from Abu Dhabi, Doha, Qatar and Los Angeles.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews stated a few of the cases linked to the event might be reclassified as “non-infectious shedding,” doubtlessly permitting modifications for some gamers in lockdown.

“Should you’ve received say 30 people who find themselves deemed a detailed contact as a result of they’ve been on a aircraft with a case, and the case is not an lively case however a historic shedding, nicely that might launch these folks from that tough lockdown,” Andrews stated.

All folks touring to Australia for the tennis had to return a detrimental take a look at earlier than boarding the constitution flights, though there was at the least one exemption within the case of the historic shedding.

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

“My two assessments had been lower than 8 weeks aside. I used to be sick in November, completely wholesome now,” Sandgren tweeted. “There’s not a single documented case the place I’d be contagious at this level. Completely recovered!”

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

“We’re a Grand Slam,” Tiley stated. “Proper now, three out of 5 units for the boys 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 excessive performing athletes and it’s onerous to hold a excessive performing athlete in a room,” Tiley stated. “That is the contribution that they’ve to make so as to get the privilege of once they do come out to compete for $80 million (US$62 million) in prize cash.”

Tiley stated the optimistic assessments amongst a few of the arriving gamers and officers weren’t a shock.

“There was going to be an expectation to have a number of optimistic cases,” Tiley stated. “However now we’re able the place they’re in lockdown, designed to shield the neighborhood.”

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 potential in Melbourne to personal residences with tennis courts.

Djokovic’s requests had been shortly refused by Andrews.

“Within the case of Novak, he wrote a notice, these weren’t calls for, they had been strategies,” Tiley stated. “However he, too, is knowing what two weeks of lockdown means . . . each participant coming down knew that in the event that they had been going to be shut contacts or take a look at optimistic that these had been going to be the circumstances.”

A smaller group of gamers who landed within the South Australia capital of Adelaide, together with Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, are additionally allowed exterior for follow 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 principally 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 quick 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 which resulted in curfews and lockdowns for town.

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