Quarantine Worker Infected at Hotel for Australian Open Players, Restrictions Tighten

February 4, 2021 Updated: February 4, 2021

New restrictions have been imposed in Victoria after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, on Wednesday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that restrictions on gatherings would be reduced to 15, wearing masks indoor will be mandatory again, and planned increases to the number of employees returning to workplaces would be delayed.

“This is one case. There’s no need for people to panic. There’s no need for people to be alarmed,” Andrews said.

The 26-year old infected man worked at the Grand Hyatt hotel which is part of the Australian Open quarantine system.

Authorities have been contacting all personnel and players of the tennis tournament who stayed in the hotel—up to 600 people— to tell them to get tested. They will need to remain in quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

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A general view of the Grand Hyatt hotel on in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 4, 2021. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

As a result, Thursday warm-up matches in Melbourne Park were cancelled, while Friday’s schedule is to be announced.

Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the risk infection for players and support staff was low and they were being tested simply for precautionary measures.

“We think the risk to other guests at the hotel, so tennis players and their accompanying staff, is relatively low because they were in the rooms at the time as opposed to staff who were outside the rooms,” Cheng told reporters. “That said, the last case to leave the hotel for the health hotel left on the 22nd so we’re now getting on to close to 14 days since that time.”

“So we think that risk is relatively low, so we’re testing them to be sure,” he said.

Andrews said the tournament should not be affected, but warned that it could change depending on the circumstances.

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People associated with the Australian Open are seen lining up at a testing facility at the View Melbourne Hotel in Melbourne, Australia on Feb. 4, 2021. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Australian Open director Craig Tiley remains “absolutely confident” it will start on Monday as planned. “We will be starting on Monday and we have no intention of changing times,” Tiley said.

The open draw, originally scheduled for Thursday night, was delayed until Friday afternoon.