Sport

Melbourne begins 5-day lockdown

Melbourne begins 5-day lockdown”

Australia's top doctor said lockdowns are not likely in other states, despite a rush to trace thousands of people who passed through a Melbourne Airport where an infected staff member worked at a cafe.

Schools and universities will be closed Monday through Wednesday, and there will be no gatherings permitted for weddings or religious services. Masks will be required everywhere. The Australian Open is being treated as a workplace, Mr Andrews said. "I don't have advice to cancel the event on the basis that it's unsafe".

Organizers are hopeful of fans returning for the last four days of the tournament, including the semifinals and finals in the singles. "We will be able to prevent it getting away from us". The seven-time Australian Open victor didn't hear the news until after the match.

"I don't know if the crowd would make it any different".

"It's going to be a rough few days for I think for everyone", she added of the new lockdown.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza, who easily who beat Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, said she supported the tournament going ahead despite the new restrictions.

With "everything that has been happening, in a sense I feel like nothing can surprise me", he said.

The crowd was jumping up and screaming for each of Kyrgios' winners, booing close line calls and pounding the backs of seats in between points.

"It's not the romance of the players actually playing, it's the romance of hearing the crowd cheering and roaring", Carwardine said. "It was a good last match before the lockdown, it's really sad to say".

Among the "essential" work, play at the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tennis event which runs to February 21, continued, but fans were banned through Wednesday.

Under the initial plan for the Australian Open, the government allowed up to 30,000 people daily at Melbourne Park, or about 50% of capacity.

It was largely blamed on lax infection control procedures at two Melbourne hotels where global travellers were required to quarantine for 14 days.

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The lockdown across Victoria state from midnight (1300 GMT) was ordered out of fear a small outbreak of the "hyper-infectious" United Kingdom strain of the virus would undo Australia's so-far successful battle to contain the pandemic, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said.

A COVID-19 outbreak, connected to the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport, grew to 14 cases on Saturday as the state went into lockdown.

Australia has 909 deaths attributed to COVID-19, including 820 in Victoria state. Most of those were during a second deadly wave a year ago when a hard lockdown and overnight curfews were put in place in Melbourne.

Play had already started on day five, in front of fans, when the lockdown was announced.

Only global flights that were already in the air when the lockdown was announced will be allowed to land at Melbourne Airport, schools and many businesses will be closed and residents are ordered to stay at home except to exercise and for essential purposes.

The rules are the same that were imposed on Brisbane and Perth during their short lockdowns in recent weeks, Chief MInister Andrew Barr said.

The extreme measures did succeed in stamping out the virus.

Meanwhile, no new local coronavirus cases were recorded in NSW for the 27th consecutive day.

Victoria will enter a five-day lockdown in an effort to contain the Holiday Inn coronavirus outbreak, which now totals 13 cases.

Meanwhile, the outbreak has prompted several states to introduce border restrictions for people travelling from the state.

Michail Pervolarakis did not play at the Australian Open but represented Greece at the ATP Cup in Melbourne earlier this month.

In a second Instagram post on Saturday, Pervolarakis confirmed he tested negative to COVID-19 the day before he flew out of Melbourne.



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