Melbourne events halted after hotel worker tests positive for COVID-19

Play was suspended at all Australian Open men’s and women’s tuneup events at Melbourne Park after a worker at one of the players’ quarantine hotels tested positive for COVID-19.

All matches scheduled for Thursday at the ATP Cup, two ATP 250 tournaments (Murray River Open and Great Ocean Road Open) and three WTA 500 events (Gippsland Trophy, Grampians Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic) were postponed.

An update on the schedule will be announced later, according to a statement released by Tennis Australia.

“Authorities have advised that everyone who stayed at the Grand Hyatt between 16-29 January will need to be tested and isolate until they receive a negative test result,” read the statement.

Australian Open, COVID-19
A staff member wearing PPE works to clean surfaces at Melbourne Park in between training sessions. (REUTERS/Kelly Defina/File Photo)

“We have been advised that you need to isolate at all times other than when you travel to and from your test. We will work with everyone involved to facilitate testing as quickly as possible.”

Australian officials said about 600 players and support staff will have to isolate and undergo testing, roughly half of the number who arrived last month to begin preparations for the year’s first grand slam event.

Australian Open Set To Begin Monday

The Australian Open is scheduled to begin on Monday.

“At this stage, there is no impact on the tournament proper,” Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said during a news conference Wednesday. “I must say (the Australian Open) is important to us but the issues are much broader and that is about public health and public safety.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)