— Published 12 February 2021

New confinement in Melbourne

Threat on the continuation and end of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Victoria state authorities on Friday, February 12th, announced a new five-day lockdown in an attempt to stem a possible resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision comes as the Grand Slam tournament comes to the end of its first week. The Prime Minister of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, explained that this lockdown was necessary to stop a “hyper-infectious” focus of contamination with the English variant of the coronavirus. It appeared in one of the hotels that served for the quarantine of several players and participants in the Australian Open. The Melbourne Airport Quarantine Hotel cluster increased from 13 to 19 cases during the day of February 11. The confinement will become effective from this Friday, February 12th at 11:59pm. It will result in a ban on leaving home, except for essential reasons, by the closure of schools and sports clubs, by the stopping of private gatherings and public. The Australian Open, where the spectator number was set at 30 000 people per day, will therefore continue behind closed doors from Saturday, and at least until Wednesday, February 17th.