Sport

Sousa withdraws from Australian Open due to strict COVID-19 protocols

Sousa withdraws from Australian Open due to strict COVID-19 protocols”

The lockdown has led to complaints from some frustrated tennis players, although others have urged their fellow competitors to show more respect for the efforts by Victoria state, when the Australian Open is to be held.

"All three cases have been in hard lockdown since they landed in Melbourne", a CVQ spokesperson said.

Players on the flights with no cases have been allowed out of hotel quarantine for five hours a day to train in a strict bio-security bubble.

"The residents arrived in Melbourne on a dedicated Australian Open charter flight on 15 January and returned their first positive tests on 15, 17 and 18 January".

By dates, Murray's participation in the Australian Open would still have been possible if he credited a negative test for coronavirus and had flown to Melbourne early enough to comply with the 14 days of mandatory quarantine, but both the organization and the local authorities have not contemplated it, because they do not want to make any kind of distinction.

New evidence also suggests the variant might be 30 per cent more deadly.

Seventy-two players are now confined to their rooms in Melbourne ahead of the February 8-21 event after positive cases were discovered on three flights ferrying them to Australia.

Players under the original quarantine protocol are only allowed out of their rooms five hours a day to train ahead of the Australian Open
Players under the original quarantine protocol are only allowed out of their rooms five hours a day to train ahead of the Australian Open

Spanish player Paul Badosa revealed yesterday that she had been taken to a "health hotel" after testing positive for COVID-19. "I'm feeling unwell and have symptoms".

There are now 33 active coronavirus cases in the area, with 32 of those in hotel quarantine.

All those considered close contacts are required to undergo two weeks of strict isolation at a designated quarantine hotel.

WTA players in hard quarantine include former Australian Open champions Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber as well as 2019 U.S. Open victor Bianca Andreescu.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria also said in a statement that the one case of the virus acquired overseas reported on Sunday was not connected to the tennis Grand Slam.

The new tournament will be staged from February 3 until February 7 and will cater for players who have not been able to train.

Calls have been made for the tournament to be pushed back again, but organisers have stressed the competition will start as planned.

More news: Margaret Court's Order of Australia award sparks anger



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