Tennis players, officials and support people participating in this year’s Australian Open will be subject to the tightest quarantine arrangements in the world for a tennis tournament, when they begin arriving in Melbourne from this Thursday.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville announced the final arrangements for the Australian Open quarantine program for overseas arrivals which include additional hotels, stringent coronavirus testing and strict rules around training.
Three new hotels have been added to the COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) program to accommodate the Australian Open overseas contingent – the Grand Hyatt, Pullman Albert Park and View Melbourne.
These hotels will be dedicated to the 1,200 players, officials and support staff expected to arrive in Victoria for the tournament – ensuring plenty of capacity remains within the system for returned travellers.
Additional CQV staff have been brought on to manage the infection control needs of the tournament. This includes 615 Resident Support Officers at hotels, 210 Event Support Officers at the training sites, and 296 COVID Marshals who will monitor players and support people as they are transported to and from quarantine hotels.
Police will play an enforcement role at the Australian Open quarantine hotels, as they do normally across the COVID-19 Accommodation Program, while Aspen Medical will provide medical services on site.
Players and the support people essential to player preparation will be able to leave their hotel rooms for up to five hours a day, to complete critical training to reduce the risk of serious injury.
To minimise public health risks, dedicated quarantine training venues have been set up at Melbourne Park, the National Tennis Centre and Albert Reserve for the exclusive use of Australian Open participants.
Those participating in a training bubble will be tested for coronavirus every day, with access to training provided from Day 2 of players’ quarantine periods, and only after players and support people have returned negative coronavirus test results.
Training bubbles for each site will include access to gyms, physiotherapy and nutritionists – overseen by CQV staff to ensure strict infection prevention and control measures are maintained. Staff working at the training sites will be subject to the same requirements as hotel quarantine workers, including testing at each shift.
Anyone who tests positive to coronavirus, or is identified as a close contact will be immediately transferred to a health hotel and will not be allowed to participate in training or the tournament until cleared.
Other non-training Australian Open officials and critical workers will be subject to the same rules as overseas travellers returning to Victoria. They will not be able to leave their hotel rooms for the entire 14 days and will be tested for coronavirus twice during their quarantine.
Strict penalties will apply to anyone who leaves quarantine without permission, including extra penalties imposed by Tennis Australia, such as default from the Australian Open and loss of accreditation.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“This year’s Australian Open will be unlike any other and we’ve been working hard to set up COVIDSafe training and quarantine arrangements so that everyone involved can continue to follow the public health rules.”
“We’ve left no stone unturned when it comes to keeping this event safe – whether it’s through infection control, stringent testing regimes, training bubbles and increased hygiene processes.”
“The Australian Open is an iconic Melbourne event – and while we’re excited to welcome the international tennis community back to Victoria, these rules have been developed to keep both participants and the community safe.”