The Australian Open will be held in a biosecure bubble next year, with tournament director Craig Tiley confirming that players will be able to freely move between the hotel and the courts for two weeks prior to the start of the Grand Slam in Melbourne.
Instead of being subjected to the country’s rigorous hotel quarantine, the Australian Open organisers plan for players to spend two weeks in a biosecure bubble before next year’s Grand Slam.
Due to COVID-19 limitations, players, coaches, and officials had to spend 14 days in hotel quarantine after arriving in Australia for the tournament in February, however, most were allowed to train for up to five hours a day on closed courts.
However, after being identified as close contacts of positive patients on flights into Australia, nearly 70 players were unable to leave their hotel rooms for the duration of their isolation.
Some locals grumbled about the conditions, which sparked a backlash from Melbourne residents who had to endure one of the world’s harshest lockdowns for over four months in 2020.
Players would not be willing to go through the same quarantine conditions again, according to tournament director Craig Tiley.
“There’s a lot of time between now and when we start,” Tiley said. “At this moment, we’re planning on having a two-week bubble, where the players will be able to freely move between the hotel and the courts.”
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