Postponed Australian Open to Go Ahead as Scheduled – By Randev Jayasinha

“We’re absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead” – so said the CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, amidst rumours that several officials connected to the event were asked to isolate after a Melbourne quarantine hotel worker tested positive for Covid-19.

It was announced on Wednesday that a 26-year-old man tested positive for the virus after working at the Grand Hyatt hotel where the players affected were staying in a 14-day quarantine.

Strict Melbourne health officials immediately sprang into action to contain the situation, wherein the security guard tested negative after his final shift on the 29th of January, but testes positive on the 2nd of February.

The Victorian state, which presently has strong control over the spread of the virus, has firmly announced that players and their support staff quarantining at the hotel will be allowed out of isolation once they return a negative test.

Australia, which has imposed some of the world’s toughest restricitons over the past year in a bid to suppress the virus, pushed back the Grand Slam tournament by three weeks to enable players to quarantine upon arrival.

Months of strict border controls – both internationally and domestically – have helped limit Covid-19 cases to less than 29, 000 and deaths to less than 1, 000 in total.

The tournament, however, “will still go ahead as scheduled” Tiley said, with warm-up events taking place at Melbourne Park on Friday.

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