Six months down the track from Victoria’s disastrous hotel quarantine outbreak, which led to an unprecedented 112-day lockdown, nothing is more important than protecting the state from a third wave of Covid-19 infections.
As Victoria prepares for the restart of international arrivals and returns to hosting its own hotel quarantine program, its biggest test looms with an influx of athletes and their entourages for the Australian Open.
It is undoubtedly a mammoth task. However, it’s one that both Tennis Australia and the Victorian government should be well prepared for given the event has been on the horizon since last January.
Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley, has openly discussed the plan to use “quarantine bubbles” to allow players to train, whilst maintaining separation from each other and most importantly the Victorian community. However, there’s considerable concern a bubble for players won’t be as effective as the strict quarantine all other international arrivals are forced to abide by.
Novak Djokovich, Alexander Zverev and others are pushing for access to a training facility whilst in quarantine, while Rafael Nadal, Ash Barty and others have expressed that they are prepared to be patient to await the eventual decision of the Victorian government and Tennis Australia.
We shall see what transpires.