Australian Open stars will not be given ‘special treatment’ as 72 now in quarantine

Tennis stars stuck in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open will not be given any “special treatment”, Victoria’s premier has said. 
A total of 72 players are self-isolating in their Melbourne hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights bringing them to the country tested positive for coronavirus.

Officials have now confirmed four more people associated with the tournament, including a player, tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Australia and are in a hotel quarantine.

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State premier lays down law to tennis stars

There are also concerns more positive tests could crop up in the coming days.
Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic reportedly sent a letter to officials with a list of requests – including a reduction in the time spent in isolation, permission to see coaches and moving athletes to private houses.

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But premier Daniel Andrews has quashed the idea, pointedly telling a news conference: “People are free to provide lists of demands, but the answer is no.

“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.

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“That was the condition on which they came. There’s no special treatment here.”

Image: Rafael Nadal arrives at Adelaide Airport ahead of the tournament
There has already been some controversy around going ahead with the tournament while thousands of Australians are stranded overseas as there is a limit on numbers allowed into the country.
All arrivals into Australia face mandatory quarantine.
Victoria state has accounted for 810 of the country’s 909 deaths from COVID-19, with a deadly second wave three months ago resulting in curfews and lockdowns for the city of Melbourne.
This year’s season-opening Grand Slam is not starting until 8 February and the quarantine restrictions mean some players are likely to be more prepared than others.
For the 72 players under the strictest quarantine rules, including Britain’s Heather Watson, they have had to practice in their hotel rooms, with some sharing videos of their modified routines.

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Tennis players practice in hotel rooms

Others in a softer quarantine – including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – are allowed to practice outdoors for five hours a day in a COVID-secure manner.
The outdoor sessions started on Monday but some players complained of delays.

Source : Sky News