Australian Open 2021: Australian authorities said the quarantine for players arriving for the upcoming tournament was necessary as some tennis stars including world No.1 Novak Djokovic asked for relaxation on Tuesday. The players have questioned the country’s 14-day quarantine, suggesting they should be allowed to complete the process in accommodation with tennis courts before the tournament which starts in Victoria state on February 8.
But Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said he would not make changes. “People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no,” Andrews told reporters in a televised news conference. They knew what they were travelling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements.”
Over 70 players and their entourage are confined to their hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival. Victoria recorded four new cases in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, but these are not counted as community transmissions.
Andrews came under substantial pressure in 2020 after putting the country’s second-most populous state into a months-long lockdown to fight a second wave of infections of the new coronavirus.
As Australia’s hardline border controls keep daily numbers of new coronavirus cases at zero or low single digits, tourism operators have called for additional subsidies after health authorities suggested the country would not fully reopen its borders in 2021.
“There’s a larger issue to do with the strategic survival of the industry,” Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
If the industry did not receive an extension of federal wage subsidies that are due to end in March, “we’ll be lucky to have a tourism industry in 12 or 18 months’ time”, she added.