Australian Open crowds capped at 50 percent as COVID cases rise

Jan 13, 2022: Crowds at the troubled Australian Open will be kept at 50 per cent as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions in Melbourne continues to rise, it was announced on Thursday.

The first Grand Slam of the year, which begins on Monday, will also require face masks, except for food and drink, and spectators must keep a social distance while indoors. Victoria’s Minister of State for Tourism Jaala Pulford said in a statement: “These updates to the arrangements for the Australian Open will mean that fans, athletes and the workforce can look forward to a great event safe from a coward.”

A similar cap was in place in the Melbourne Park Complex during last year’s tournament, before spectators were banned during a five-day lockdown to spread a new corona virus wave in the city. Matches continued in silent stadiums, and spectators were finally allowed to return in small numbers, in what became the first COVID hit Grand Slam welcome spectators.

As early as Thursday, Victoria reported a record 953 covid patients in hospitals, with more than 220,000 active cases across the state.

Keeping in line with safety precautions, all staff and players at the Australian Open must be vaccinated against coronavirus and while the vast majority are, world number one Novak Djokovic is not, sparking a global debate.

The world number one arrived in Australia a week ago and on December 16 claimed immunity from the vaccine due to the positive results of the PCR test. Border agents rejected his exemption, saying the recent infection was insufficient, tore up his visa and placed him in detention.

But Djokovic’s high-powered legal team, skeptical of the vaccine, dramatically overturned the visa decision in court on Monday over a technicality in procedure related to its airport interview.

Stay tuned to BaaghiTV for latest news and Updates!

US treasury department imposes sanctions on North Koreans

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!