Australian Open in chaos with play SUSPENDED after 600 players and officials have to isolate following one
the Australian Open descended into chaos overnight as up to 600 players, officials and staff were forced
to self-isolate and be retested for COVID-19
A 26-year-old hotel worker, who was stationed at the Grand Hyatt, has developed coronavirus symptoms,
potentially caused by the highly-infectious UK strain of the virus.
The resident support officer had previously recorded negative test results while working last month at the
quarantine hotel in Melbourne.
The news has impacted hundreds of people involved with the Grand Slam according to Victoria Premier Daniel
It is understood all play for Thursday’s six warm-up events on Melbourne Park was canceled but Andrews says
the Open, which starts on Monday, will go ahead as planned.
Everyone has to self-isolate until they produce a negative test – if a player tests positive then their Aussie Open
dreams will be over.
Contract tracers were also searching through hotel CCTV for any breaches of protocol.
Andrews said: “There are several about 500, 600 people who are players and officials and others who are casual
contacts.“They will be isolated until they get a negative test and that work will be done (on Thursday).
“At this stage, there is no impact on the tournament proper.
“I must say that is important to us but the issues are much broader and that is about public health and
public safety. “We all have to assume the international strain is, in effect, the UK strain.
“This thing is spreading so quickly. Through an abundance of caution, we’re assuming the worst.”
The State of Victoria has reintroduced compulsory mask rules and reduced private gatherings to 15 people.
About 1,200 people connected to the Slam underwent two-week hotel quarantining upon arrival Down Under
but 72 players were confined to their rooms for a solid fortnight.
A statement from the Australian Open said: “Health Authorities have advised us that a Hotel Quarantine worker
has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Those associated with the AO who quarantined at the hotel now need to be tested and isolate until they receive
a negative test result.”We will work with everyone involved to facilitate testing as quickly as possible.
“There will be no matches at Melbourne Park on Thursday, February 4, 2021. An update on the schedule for
Friday will be announced.”
The cancellation of the action on Thursday was welcome news for Rafa Nadal, who had been complaining
of a back injury during the ATP Cup.
The world No.2 was expected to miss the tie with Greece after saying he did not feel “well enough to play”.
Nonetheless, the injury means the Spaniard faces a race to be fit for the start of next week’s Aussie Open.