Dozens of Australian Open Tennis Players in Quarantine

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A total of 47 tennis players traveling to the Australian Open on two separate flights will be required to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine after other people aboard tested positive for Covid-19.

One passenger on a charter flight from Abu Dhabi, who is not a player, returned a positive test after arrival Friday and has been transfered to a specialist hotel, tournament organizers Tennis Australia said in a statement. Others on the flight, including 23 players, are in quarantine hotels, the organization said.

A separate group of 24 players are also in hotel quarantine after an aircrew member and a non-playing tournament participant tested positive following a Los Angeles-Melbourne flight which also landed Friday.

Players “will not be permitted to leave their room for 14 days and until they are medically cleared,” Tennis Australia said. “They will not be eligible to practice.” Athletes will get help to access fitness equipment for their hotel rooms, Victoria state’s government said in a separate statement.

Read more: Tennis Goes Ahead, Grand Prix Delayed as Australia Rules Kick In

More than 1,200 officials, players and support teams are arriving in Australia ahead of the tournament, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 8. All arrivals are facing strict rules, including mandatory isolation, daily testing for Covid-19, and athletes being limited to a daily five-hour block for training and treatment.

The decision to allow Australian Open participants to enter the country has drawn some criticism amid government restrictions which have capped arrivals of other international travelers, including citizens seeking to return home. Australia, which hasrecorded fewer than 29,000 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths,tightened rules earlier this month in response to the more-transmissible U.K. Covid-19 variant.

Formula 1, which was scheduled to hold the first race of its new season in Melbourne in March, delayed the event until November. A 2020 race was canceled when a member of the McLaren Racing team tested positive for coronavirus.

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