Up to 600 Australian Open participants to self-isolate after new COVID case detected

Australian Open warm-up tournaments have been thrown into chaos after a positive coronavirus test has been returned by a hotel worker.

As many as 600 players and officials connected to the tournament have been told to go into immediate self-isolation until they can return a negative test.

It means that all of Thursday’s scheduled matches at Melbourne Park including the ATP Cup and the Yarra Valley Classic will be postponed until further notice.

By reacting quickly to the threat, any potential spread of the virus can be detected early and it is hoped won’t interfere with the Australian Open due to begin on February 8.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that the hotel worker, who last worked at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Melbourne on 29 January, may have been in contact with some of the players.

Andrews told local media: “A 26-year-old man has tested positive for coronavirus.

“He had been working as a resident support officer as part of the Australian Open quarantine programme. He is now in a health hotel.

“There’s a number of about 500 to 600 players and officials and others who are casual contacts and they will be isolating until they get a negative test and that work will be done tomorrow.

“It may have an impact in tomorrow’s play in the lead-up event but at this stage there’s no impact to the tournament proper.

“I am confident that we all know what to do, that we have got this in good time, and we are working as hard as we possibly can.

“People will be working throughout the evening, and for as long as it takes, to track down every single close contact and to essentially contain and smother this.”

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