Chaos as two people on board a flight filled with Australian Open players test positive for Covid – as athletes are forced to stay in their quarantine hotel rooms for 14 days
Two people on a flight filled with professional tennis players from Los Angeles have tested positive for Covid – with the safety of Melbourne hosting the Australian Open next month now called into question.
A leaked email sent by Tennis Australia to all passengers on board flight QR7493 confirmed the news.
The Chief Health Officer then confirmed that everyone was obliged to isolate and be ‘confined to their rooms for the 14-day quarantine period’.
All international arrivals are subject to hotel quarantine for 14-days, with five hour windows for players to train each day.
Established stars Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Kei Nishikori were on the flight, as were other professional players, coaches and support staff.
Tennis star Victoria Azarenka (pictured above) was on the flight from LA to Melbourne where two passengers tested positive for Covid
Rising US star Sloane Stephens (pictured above) was on the same flight as Azerenka
‘Unfortunately we have been informed by the health authorities that two people on your flight from LAX that arrived at 5:15am on Friday 15 January have returned positive COVID-19 PCR tests on arrival to Melbourne,’ the email read.
‘We know this is not how you imagined your preparations for the AO (Australian Open) would start but our entire team is here to support and do everything we can to get your through this.
‘The most important thing you need to know right now is you are not alone in this and we are here to provide you any extra support you need.’
US tennis star Tennys Sandgren was on the same flight. He made global headlines on Thursday after tweeting he was cleared to fly despite returning a positive test for Covid.
His presence on the flight was cleared by Victorian health authorities.
The Herald Sun is reporting the two passengers in question recorded positive results after entering Australia.
One passenger is believed to be a player coach, the other is unknown at this stage.
First round matches at the 2021 Australian Open start on February 8, with Covid delaying the start of the tournament, which is usually staged in mid to late January.
Japanese star Kei Nishikori (pictured above) was also on the same flight from LA to Melbourne
All passengers are required to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine after arriving in Australia