Andy Murray’s waiting game as anger mounts after tennis players fly in for Australian Open
Andy Murray is waiting to see if there is any way he can still fly to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
The three-time Grand Slam champion could not fly on the planes chartered to take players to Australian for the first Grand Slam of 2021, with a tweet from the tournament organisers suggesting his hopes of playing will be dashed.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 14, 2021
Murray’s hopes of being allowed into Australian if he returns a negative test in the coming days appear to be forlorn, but he has not officially pulled out of the event as he is still keen to make use of his wild card if possible.
Meanwhile, there is growing anger in Australian after tennis stars began arriving en-mass at a time when many locals have been denied the chance to return home due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The world's best tennis players are arriving, ready to fight for the first Grand Slam title of 2021. Before the battle can begin they must quarantine for 14 days, take daily COVID-19 tests, physically distance, and practice & train under strictly controlled COVIDSafe conditions. pic.twitter.com/XrJDmc9vCi
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 15, 2021
Two people on a chartered flight from Los Angeles carrying 24 players returned positive swabs upon their arrival in Melbourne.
On a later flight from Abu Dhabi, a sole passenger on a plane carrying 23 players also returned a positive result.
Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said that the infected trio were not players.
The world’s top players began arriving in the country on a series of charter jets on Thursday ahead of a two-week quarantine period, during which they will be allowed out of their rooms to practice for five hours a day.
Letting in 1200 tennis players and their entourage feels like a Cummings moment; the point where the Victorian Government can no longer claim it’s just about the science. This is a risky choice, and what hurts is that they’d take that risk for sport but not for #strandedAussies.
— Jamie (@mintcustard) January 15, 2021
Social media users have expressed dismay that they have been denied a chance to return to their homeland for several months, yet special dispensation has been made for the tennis stars.
Australian Open organisers spent several months negotiating an arrangement that was acceptable to local and national government agencies regarding the admission of more than 1,000 tennis players and associated personnel to the country.
Australia has strict limits on the number of arrivals allowed to enter the country and unlike many countries, those arriving in Australia must quarantine in a designated facility or hotel instead of their own homes.
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