MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – Forty-seven players have been asked to go into a two week quarantine in Melbourne after three coronavirus infections were reported on two chartered flights carrying them to the grand slam, the tournament organisers informed on Saturday.
An aircrew member and Australian Open participant who is not a player has been tested positive due to which two dozen players who arrived from Los Angeles has entered a strict hotel quarantine.
Later, another non-player passenger on a flight from Abu Dhabi tested positive, prompting the organisers to usher 23 players into hotel quarantine.
The players will not be eligible for practice until they are medically cleared.
The decision will translate into unequal preparation for the participants. Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas took to Twitter to express his feelings.
“From having 5 hours of training in a bubble to this…(strict quarantine x 15 days). I will be showing you my workouts x Instagram (inside the room),” wrote the world number 68.
Australia has agreed to accept about 1,200 players, officials and staff on 15 flights for the major sporting event that is due to begin next month.
Apart from Cuevas, Mexican player Santiago Gonzalez also confirmed being on that flight in a social media post.
Other players cited by local media as likely to be on the flight included Tennys Sandgren, who was granted special permission to travel from Los Angeles late last week after testing positive for the new coronavirus, which he had previously had, and world 13 doubles player Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
“We are communicating with everyone on this flight, and particularly the playing group whose conditions have now changed, to ensure their needs are being catered to as much as possible,” said tournament director Craig Tiley.