Few hours ago, the presence of two people infected with the Covid-19 virus was confirmed on the direct flight from Los Angeles, United States, to Melbourne, Australia. This means that all players on the plane will now have to spend 14 days in solitary confinement in their hotel room, unable to carry out the training program.
Unfortunately, the same thing also happened on another plane: it is the EY8004 direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, on which a positive person was found in Australia. Also in this case, the 64 passengers (including 23 players, especially from the WTA Tour) will be subjected to the same treatment, having now to spend two weeks in quarantine without being able to move.
Among the people on board, many tennis players who will take part in the first Major event of the year: Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Paula Badosa, Marta Kostyuk, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Belinda Bencic, Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari, among many others.
Australians angry at the arrival of the players
The players have landed in Australia, and we know that the problems have already begun, however, the protests of the local population precede after what happened with the flights.
Public opinion, as reported in many polls done by Australian newspapers, especially in the state of Victoria, is very negative about the conduct of the tournament, especially as Australians have done so much to have their country virus-free.
Many, in particular, have spoken of a double standard by the government, as flights have been organized for the players but at the same time there are Australian citizens who have been trying for months to repatriate without success and others who cannot return to Melbourne from another state such as New South Wales or Queensland.
Others, however, mentioned the strong risk of a new wave of the virus brought by the players and by the influx of the public that could put the sacrifices of the local population at risk. Furthermore, there is controversy that those returning to Australia must quarantine at a designated hotel, and despite the announcement of 20 new flights for those not yet repatriated, the number of people who can be re-admitted has been cut.
in various states, a fact that certainly does not arouse a great impression if you consider that for the Australian Open a thousand and more places have always been guaranteed. As we read on the Australian website The Age it is difficult to avoid the impression that tennis players come here at the expense of Australians stranded overseas and exposed to the pandemic.
It's also odd that Victoria could find places for tennis stars as her residents are stranded in NSW and Queensland due to its harsh border closures. Health Minister Martin Foley said he understood the frustration of the Victorians stranded in Sydney or Brisbane, which are still considered red zones by the state government, but he didn't want to risk another outbreak in the state of Victoria.