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Australian Open: 47 players in quarantine after positive Covid-19 tests on two charter flights

Australian Open: 47 players in quarantine after positive Covid-19 tests on two charter flights

24 players on a charter flight from the United States to Melbourne are required to quarantine for two weeks after a flight crew member and passenger – not a player – tested positive. Both tested negative within 72 hours of boarding the flight, which was carrying 79 people.

Another 23 players have been quarantined after a charter plane carrying 64 people arrived from Abu Dhabi. One person – again not a player – tested positive after the flight, although documentation of a negative Covid-19 test was provided before takeoff.

All 47 affected players will not be able to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days and until they are medically cleared. They will not be eligible to practice.

Australian Open Organizers released two statements on Saturday detailing how the players will be affected.

The second statement, referring to Abu Dhabi – Melbourne, said: “All the flight passengers are already in quarantine hotels, and the positive case, which is not a player and was tested negative before the flight, was transferred to a health hotel.” Flight.

The passengers who tested positive for the virus on the American flight were also transferred to a health hotel.

“Our thoughts are with the two people who have tested positive for the trip and we wish them good luck in their recovery,” Australian Open Director Craig Tilly said in the organizers’ first statement.

‘Strict examination schedule’

In a tweet that was Later deleted, French player Alise Cornet Who was in Melbourne but was not on either plane, described the situation as “crazy”.

“Soon, half of the players from the area of ​​operations will have to be isolated,” she wrote on Twitter. “Weeks and weeks of training and hard work are going to be wasted for one person positive for Covid in an empty 3/4 plane. Sorry but that’s insane.”

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World number 71st seed Sorana Kirstia said she understands the need to quarantine, but her inability to train and practice will affect her ability to compete effectively in the Australian Open.

“People are complaining about us”, Cirstea tweeted. “I have no problem staying 14 days in the room to watch Netflix. Believe me, this is a dream come true, even a vacation.

“What we can’t do is compete after we’ve spent 14 days on the sofa. That’s the problem, not the rule of quarantine.

Cirstea said in another tweet, “I will need at least 3 weeks after that to be in good shape again and compete at a high level!

Meanwhile, Yulia Buttseva A. Video On Twitter, a mouse in her hotel room.
“I was trying to change the room for 2 hours already! No one came to help because of the quarantine!” Putintseva tweeted.
“What I don’t understand is why nobody ever told us, if one person on the plane is positive, the entire plane should be isolated,” said Putintseva, ranked 28th in the world. In another tweet. “I would have thought twice before coming here.”

The Australian Open was originally scheduled to start this month, and the Australian Open was rescheduled to February 8-21 due to concerns over Covid-19.

While most of the world’s best players have gone straight to Melbourne, others like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have traveled to Adelaide.

“SA Health has confirmed that no person has had an active COVID-19 infection in the entire tennis group based in Adelaide,” the Australian Open tennis tournament wrote on Twitter later on Saturday. “The test will continue on a daily basis.”

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Ahead of Saturday’s developments, tournament organizers said players would also “go through a more stringent testing schedule than most returning travelers”.

Everyone must be in quarantine for 14 days, but are allowed outside for five hours a day to train in strict bio-safe bubbles before a set of warm-up tournaments, all in Melbourne, in the week leading up to the Grand Slam.

But those 47 players now holed up in their hotels will wonder how they will be able to prepare properly or their first major tournament this season.

CNN reporter Dan Kamal contributed to this report.