Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director, Craig Tiley remains bullish that the Australian Open will proceed as scheduled on Monday (08/02).
Tiley fronted media this yesterday, to speak of the situation where 507 tennis players, their entourages and other support staff have been deemed “casual contacts” of the resident support officer who had previously returned a positive COVID-19 test result. Tiley confirmed that all these individuals, who stayed in quarantine from 16 – 29 January at the relevant hotel, have been contacted and are currently undergoing COVID-19 testing. They have been advised to self-isolate until they return a negative test result.
This action necessitated the suspension of all play in relevant AO lead-in tournament matches, however Tiley confirmed tomorrow’s play will go ahead, as scheduled. A draw (order of play) for tomorrow’s play is intended to be released at 6 pm tonight. He also confirmed that the draw for the Australian Open will be conducted circa 2 pm-3 pm tomorrow, having previously been scheduled for Thursday.
Tiley reinforced the continuing close working relationship that Tennis Australia (TA) are maintaining with the Victorian Government and relevant government departments. He acknowledged there was “no such thing as no risks,” but remained confident that the comprehensive nature of planning already undertaken will result in the minimisation of risk, “as much as possible.”
TA have reminded all players staying across various Melbourne hotels, who were part of this quarantine cohort, they must not leave their rooms, get tested and return a negative COVID-19 test, before they can again move around the hotel and community. TA have also reinforced to players that they cannot leave their current hotel, if seeking alternative accommodation, until this negative result is received.
The TA press conference followed an earlier one, where Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews confirmed the number of potential COVID-19 exposure sites linked to the affected worker has grown to fourteen, up from eight. In more promising news, the worker’s family have all received negative test results.
Click here to view a list of exposure sites can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.