Andy Murray tests positive for virus before Australian Open

In this Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 file photo Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during a press conference following his first round loss to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. (AP)
Updated 14 January 2021

Andy Murray tests positive for virus before Australian Open

  • Murray has been given a wild-card entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of 2021

Andy Murray has tested positive for the coronavirus days just before he was due to leave Britain for the Australian Open, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion is isolating at home and still hopes to compete in Australia when it is safe to travel, the person said.
Murray has been given a wild-card entry into the first Grand Slam tournament of 2021.
The Australian Open was delayed three weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions and is set to begin Feb. 8. Players and officials must spend 14 days in quarantine once they arrive in Australia.
Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner-up, earlier backed out of the Delray Beach Open in Florida to “minimize the risks” of contracting the virus through international travel.


Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

Updated 19 January 2021

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

  • ‘People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no’
  • ‘They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements’

SYDNEY: Australian authorities said mandatory hotel quarantine for people arriving for the Australian Open tennis tournament was essential to stop COVID-19, as the country recorded another day with no new locally acquired cases on Tuesday.
Some of the world’s top tennis players including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic have questioned the country’s enforced 14-day hotel quarantine, suggesting they should be allowed to complete the process in accommodation with tennis courts before the tournament which starts in Victoria state on Feb. 8.
But Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said he would not make changes.
“People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no,” Andrews told reporters in a televised news conference.
“They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements.”
More than 70 players and their entourage are confined to their hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights returned positive tests for the coronavirus. Victoria recorded four new cases in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, but these are not counted as community transmissions.
Andrews came under substantial pressure in 2020 after putting the country’s second-most populous state into a months-long lockdown to fight a second wave of infections of the new coronavirus.
In neighboring New South Wales state, Hollywood actor Matt Damon was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine after arriving to film a “Thor” sequel in Sydney.
Damon flew in on a private jet, will stay in a rented house under security and pay for hospital-grade cleaning for his 14-day quarantine, a doctor involved in his quarantine was quoted saying in local media.
As Australia’s hard-line border controls keep daily numbers of new coronavirus cases at zero or low single digits, tourism operators have called for additional subsidies after health authorities suggested the country would not fully reopen its borders in 2021.
If the industry did not receive an extension of federal wage subsidies that are due to end in March, “we’ll be lucky to have a tourism industry in 12 or 18 months’ time,” Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
But Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the country would be unlikely to fully reopen its border soon, even though it hopes to start a vaccination program next month.
“There will be a process through 2021 of returning to some sort of normal,” Kelly told reporters.
“Unfortunately, international borders changes will be one of the last things to change, rather than the first.”