Australian Open to allow 7 500 fans on centre court

  • Australian Open to allow 7 500 fans on centre court

Australian Open to allow 7 500 fans on centre court

Last Friday, after several cases of COVID-19, the state of Victoria went into a five-day lockdown and it was announced that from Saturday for five days there would be no fans at the Australian Open.

Victoria's five-day lockdown was announced last week amid fears the highly-infectious United Kingdom strain of COVID-19 had spread from the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel at Melbourne Airport into the community.

Even before the latest roadblock, the sprawling Melbourne Park complex on the banks of the Yarra River had been operating with a limit of just 30,000 spectators a day - less than half - under coronavirus restrictions.

"The crowd will be capped at 7,477 for each session, which is approximately 50 per cent capacity".

The five-day stay-at-home order now appears to have contained the outbreak, which centred on a hotel near Melbourne airport, to 19 people.

"Look I'm really excited to be coming back", Melbourne local Beatrice Leonard told AFP.

The Australian Open featured limited crowds in the opening five days of the event and they were hoping to increase the number of fans in attendance before another oubreak struck the state of Victoria. "It was pretty depressing".

The Australian Open women's semifinals begin Thursday, highlighted by 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams facing Japan's Naomi Osaka in a highly anticipated rematch of the 2018 US Open final.

"That is to say, we're not going to make them better or worse". "Last week we had our first real experience of live sport with fans in the stands and the atmosphere was electric".

Andrews said health authorities would soon settle on a final crowd figure for the final days of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

"We do not rule those out but if we do see those, it is likely to be in the personal close contacts of family members, of associated households who have been isolated and quarantining for some substantial period now".

Social distancing measures remain in place with sanitising stations dotted around the complex, but patrons are now able to walk around freely, although face-coverings must be worn. "The organisers of the Australian Open are awesome and everyone's respectful of what's happening around the world".

Previously, the precinct had been divided into three separate zones around Rod Laver, Margaret Court and John Cain arenas, curbing the usual free flow of fans.

"Melbourne's done a great job with handling the pandemic".