The Australian Open are going to be allowed to continue but without crowds for a minimum of five days after the Victoria government imposed a lockdown starting Saturday in response to a COVID-19 outbreak at a quarantine hotel.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday announced a five-day, state-wide lockdown starting a moment before midnight civil time, imposing new restrictions that restrict residents to their homes apart from work, to buy for essential supplies, care or caregiving, and limited exercise.
He said the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open could continue “because these people are at their workplace.”
“The minimum number of staff for it to be run safely, are going to be there,” Andrews said. “It are going to be happening, but there will be nobody there watching it.”
Schools and universities are going to be closed Monday through Wednesday, and there’ll be no gatherings permitted for weddings or religious services.
Fans arriving at Melbourne Park on Friday before the new restrictions were announced were instructed at the doorway gates to take care of social-distancing, apply sanitizer to their hands and pull their masks up over their noses.
With three big night matches scheduled for Friday, fans are going to be permitted to enter Melbourne Park. But Andrews’ urged people to exercise good judgement” and not leave .
Andrews said the measures were a brief , sharp circuit breaker” during a bid to avoid a much bigger , longer lockdown because the state combats a hyper-infectious,” strain of the coronavirus.
Andrews said the guideline of the restrictions was that if people could work from home, they ought to work from home.
Of the Australian Open, he said, “If it had been a longer-term prospect quite five days things might rather be different.”
“I do not have advice to cancel the event on the idea that it’s unsafe,” he added, saying the newest cases had nothing to try to to with the tennis quarantine program.
All players, staff and officials who arrived on charter flights for the tournament, a complete of about 1,200 people, had to try to to a compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine. Of those, 72 were forced into a tough lockdown after being deemed close contacts of passengers on their charter flights who tested positive for the virus after landing in Australia.
The Australian Open was the primary slam tournament during a year to permit sizeable crowds.