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* Melbourne Grand Hyatt worker tests positive for coronavirus
* Mask obligatory inside, gatherings capped at 15 people
* Australian Open warm-up events canceled for the day
* Australian Open set to move forward, Victoria Premier says
* NSW, Queensland report zero local cases
SYDNEY, February 4 (Reuters) – Australia’s second most populous city reintroduced coronavirus restrictions from Thursday after a quarantine worker at an Australian Open hotel was tested positive for COVID-19, sending more than 500 tennis players and officials into isolation.
Melbourne reverted to mandatory masks indoors and limited gatherings to 15 people after the 28-day period of zero local state infections ended.
Play in all six Grand Slam warm-up events at Melbourne Park, due to start on February 8, has been heavily disrupted as organizers at Tennis Australia canceled all matches on Thursday. a pleasant sign the outbreak is likely to be contained as part of an initial round of testing after the Grand Hyatt worker contracted the coronavirus came back negative, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said , to journalists.
The positive case was announced at a surprise press conference late at night Wednesday, but will be reflected in Thursday’s tally.
The Grand Hyatt was one of three main quarantine hotels used by players and officials arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open.
About 1,200 players, coaches and officials arrived in Australia in the middle of last month and were placed in compulsory isolation for 14 days. Most of the players were released from quarantine about two weeks ago.
At a press conference Thursday, Andrews said the Australian Open was likely to go ahead although he added “there are no guarantees”. at this point tennis should not be impacted by this. These things can change. Every Victorian knows the hour is uncertain, ”he said.
Australia’s national cabinet is set to meet on Friday, where lawmakers will discuss whether the hotel quarantine program should be moved to regional areas after recent cases of the virus escaping from a hotel in the community .
The country has reported more than 22,000 local cases of COVID-19 and 909 deaths since March 2020. Australia ranked in the top 10 in a COVID performance index for its successful handling of the pandemic. The states of New South Wales and Queensland have not reported any new cases, while Western Australia, which is in a five-day lockdown after a positive case was detected on Sunday, will release its figures later in the day.
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