Three coronavirus cases have been detected among charter flights carrying tennis players, coaches and officials to Melbourne for the Australian Open, forcing 47 players into strict hotel quarantine.
The players from the two affected flights — arriving from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi — were in a strict 14-day quarantine, unable to leave their hotel rooms or practice, health authorities and tournament organizers said Saturday. The Australian Open starts on Feb. 8.
Health authorities said two positive COVID-19 cases emerged from a charter flight from Los Angeles. The third positive test was from a flight from Abu Dhabi in the past 24 hours, Tennis Australia said.
The coach of Canadian star Bianca Andreescu said he has tested positive after arriving from Abu Dhabi. Sylvain Bruneau said the “rest of my team is negative.” Andreescu will quarantine at her hotel, her agent, Jonathan Dasnieres de Veigy, said in a text to The Canadian Press.
The world's best tennis players are arriving, ready to fight for the first Grand Slam title of 2021. Before the battle can begin they must quarantine for 14 days, take daily COVID-19 tests, physically distance, and practice & train under strictly controlled COVIDSafe conditions. pic.twitter.com/XrJDmc9vCi— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 15, 2021
Authorities earlier said that all passengers from the Los Angeles flight would go into the 14-day hotel quarantine.
“All remaining 66 passengers on the flight have been determined to be close contacts,” Victoria state’s health department said in a statement about the Los Angeles flight. “Any players and support people will not be able to leave quarantine to attend training. The remaining flight crew all tested negative and were permitted to fly out without passengers directly to their home port.”
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley issued a statement saying the 24 players who were on that flight will not be able to leave their hotels rooms for 14 days and until they are medically cleared.