Australian Open Quarantine Debate: Players Banking On Organiser Demands
he lead up to the 2021 Australian Open has been filled with concerns and question marks, from a one-month postponement, to positive COVID-19 testing on three chartered international flights, to a hefty Victorian Government loan and last-minute hotel changes.
The latest concern comes as a large number of players have been forced into strict 14-day COVID-19 quarantines, and Victorian Police have already been forced to hand out $20,000 fines to players for attempting to breach the protocols.
Sparking the enforced 14-day quarantine was a fourth case of positive COVID-19 testing from passengers on three chartered flights from both the US and Abu Dhabi.
The new quarantine rules for 62 people means they will be unable to train for 14 days, after the original rules suggested players would be allowed five hours of isolated training during this time.
This has sparked outrage from a number of participants who are stuck in mandatory quarantine, with some going as far to say if they knew the rules would be this harsh for close contact, they may not have come to Australia for the competition, including women’s player, Yulia Putinseva, who took to Twitter to show her frustrations.
“What I don’t understand is that, why no one ever told us, if one person on board is positive the whole plane need to be isolated,” Putinseva said on Twitter.
“I would think twice before coming here.
“Because they said, you have to only if you or one of your team members is positive.
“Not a random person on the plane,” she said.
The complaints from athletes have been met by public backlash, with tennis great and now commentator, Rennae Stubbs, saying the athletes in quarantine have no right to be complaining due to the perks and prize money available, even for being eliminated in the first round.