The word is out that Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley sent a note to players informing them that the Australian Open will begin on February 8th.
The 2021 Australian Open is still scheduled to be commence on January 18th, but tennis media are reporting that it will be delayed by three weeks. Besides informing players, coaches and managers about the new date, Tiley also explained all the strict coronavirus measures that will be enforced, including a two-week quarantine.
Players will fly on chartered flights and arrive in Melbourne between January 15th and January 17th, but quarantine won’t start until the last player arrives. During the quarantine period, players will be tested as many as five times.
Early on, players will be allowed to train only with one other player, of course if they test negative, but after receiving a third negative COVID-19 test on the eighth day of quarantine, they will be able to train with a maximum of four people. Only one coach per player is allowed.
Moreover, players will be permitted to leave their hotels just five hours a day: two hours to practice on the court, two hours for the gym, and one hour to eat at the tournament site. All movement outside of the hotels will be limited to Melbourne Park and Albert Reserve Tennis Centre.
Australia is among the rare countries where the coronavirus is really under control. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews believes that the Australian Open can go ahead without triggering a spike in COVID-19 positive cases:
So we are unique in that we’ve built something that no one else has built across the nation … and on that basis, we have to safeguard that, [and] I think we can.