‘It’s a firm NO from me’ – Officials reject Novak Djokovic and co’s Australian Open quarantine requests

Australian Open
Australian Open Melbourne Park general

Officials won’t relax their strict quarantine rules for those taking part in the Australian Open despite requests from the likes of Novak Djokovic to ease the regulations.

The world’s best tennis players, support staff and officials all arrived in Australia last week and all of them went straight into 14 days of self-isolation.

However, 47 players forced to go into hard quarantine after a few people on board the charter flights returned positive coronavirus test results. The number later increased to 72.

More Australian Open players go into isolation taking number up to 72

It meant those affected will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days, a privilege afforded to those unaffected.

World No 1 Djokovic reportedly sent a request to Victorian and Australian Open officials requesting that some of the rules be relaxed for those in quarantine, including “decent food” and reducing the isolated period.

However, Victoria’s Commissioner for COVID-19 Quarantine Emma Cassar did not mince her words when asked about the requests.

“It’s a firm NO from me,” she told Melbourne’s radio 3AW.

She added: “The program is set up to keep people safe. We will not be modifying the program or watering it down under any circumstances.”

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also made it clear that they won’t change their stance on the issue.

“People are free to provide lists of demands but the answer is no,” he said.

He continued: “I know that there’s been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules – well, the rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else, and they were all briefed on that before they came and that was a condition on which they came.

“There’s no special treatment here … because a virus doesn’t treat you specially.”

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