Australian Open players cleared of COVID-19

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Ian Ransom
·1 min read
A person wearing a protective face mask walks past an Australian Open logo at Melbourne Park in Melbourne
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - All 507 Australian Open players and staff who stayed at a quarantine hotel where a worker contracted COVID-19 have tested negative and been cleared to participate in the Grand Slam, tournament director Craig Tiley said on Friday.

"Everyone that tested, tested negative," Tiley told reporters at Melbourne Park on Friday. "So that's a really good outcome not only for the community but also for the playing group."

Health officials said on Wednesday that a worker at the Grand Hyatt hotel had contracted the virus, prompting the testing and quarantining of 160 players, as well as coaches and Australian Open officials. Warm-up matches at Melbourne Park were called off on Thursday but resumed on Friday.

Of the more than 1,200 players, coaches and officials flown in for the tournament, there have been eight COVID-19 infections.

Spain's Paula Badosa, the women's world number 67, was the only player to contract the coronavirus. She was released from hotel quarantine on Wednesday.

Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, reported no new cases of community transmission on Friday.

Authorities have approved 30,000 fans per day, about 50% capacity, at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

“Spectators will continue to be allowed in the site, and we are still selling tickets,” Tiley said on radio station 3AW.

"The site will be an extremely safe place."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Edwina Gibbs)