Australian Open chaos after COVID-19 alert issued for second charter flight

A total of three coronavirus cases have been recorded among participants arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open, resulting in strict quarantine measures

Australian Open chaos after COVID-19 alert issued for second charter flight

The Australian Open has been dealt a major blow after a second overseas charter flight to Melbourne recorded a positive COVID-19 case leaving close to 50 players unable to train for two weeks.

A passenger on-board a charter flight carrying players and participants yesterday tested positive to the virus after arrived in Melbourne at 8.20am on January 15 from Abu Dhabi.

The passenger is not a player and has been transferred to a health hotel to undertake a 14-day quarantine period. The passenger tested negative to their pre-departure test.


It's the third positive case found across two charter flights of participants and players arriving in Australia for the Australian Open.

While there had been rumours online of a positive coronavirus test from a passenger on an Australian Open charter flight into Adelaide, authorities clarified in a statement late into the night that this wasn't the case.

"SA Health has confirmed that there is no one who has an active COVID-19 infection in the entire tennis cohort based in Adelaide," the Australian Open said on Twitter. "Testing will continue on a daily basis."

In its second statement for the night, Australian Open organisers confirmed that 23 of the passengers on-board the second affected flight were players.

It means a total of 47 players are now unable to train ahead of the tournament as the strict quarantine measures are enforced.

Tennis players and their support teams are seen disembarking Flight EY460 carrying tennis players and their support teams participating at the Australian Open at Melbourne Jet Base adjoining the Melbourne International airport on January 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia

Earlier in the day a flight from the US with 24 players on-board had two people test positive to COVID-19 after arrival into Melbourne. Neither were players and both had tested negative in their pre-departure tests.

A spokesperson for COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria said all remaining 63 passengers on the flight from Abu Dhabi must also undertake two weeks in quarantine and will be unable to train.

"All remaining 63 passengers on the flight have been designated close contacts. Players and support people will be unable to access training and must undertake a standard 14-day quarantine period.

"Players are being supported to access equipment for their hotel rooms to help them maintain their fitness during this time.


"There are no other known positive tests from this flight, but routine testing will continue for passengers.

"Before any person can exit quarantine after 14 days, they must be first medically cleared by public health experts."

All of the passengers are already in quarantine hotels and the positive case is in a specially-designed "health hotel" for positive cases.

In an email to players, which has since been shared online, health authorities assured players that they are doing everything they can to "mitigate the impact" of being forced to spend 14 days in a hotel room prior to a tournament.

"We are aware of the major impact this has on your preparation for the Australian summer," the email reads.

"And are going to do everything we can to mitigate this impact. Our entire team is mobilised and here to support you.

"We will do everything that we can to get you through this."

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the , and the .

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. or call 1800512348

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Source : 9 News More