Australian Open Games Will Go Ahead with No Spectators During Victoria's Five-Day Lockdown
As will this weekend's AFLW games.
In response to Melbourne's growing Holiday Inn COVID-19 cluster, the entire state of Victoria will enter a five-day lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday, February 12 until the same time on Wednesday, February 17. That means that stage four restrictions will be back in effect, and you'll only be able to leave your house for the now-familiar four reasons.
The lockdown is happening in the middle of one of Melbourne's biggest annual sporting events, too: the Australian Open. It's running from Monday, February 8–Sunday, February 21, with big-name stars including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal flying in (and quarantining) for the event.
The good news is that the Australian Open will go ahead during the five-day lockdown. The bad: no spectators will be allowed to attend.
Under the new stage four restriction rules, professional athletes are considered 'essential workers', so they are allowed to leave their homes and their five-kilometre radius to go to work. This means, not only can the Australian Open games go ahead — but so can the AFLW games that are scheduled for this weekend. Once again, without crowds.
It does mean, however, that you can't head out in person to cheer on Ashleigh Barty, Carlton or North Melbourne, but you can order in a feast for you and your housemates (or intimate partner) and yell as loud as you want from the comfort of your house.
In regards to tonight's matches, in particular the much-hyped 7pm game between Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem, the AO has said "sessions today and tonight will continue as planned with COVIDSafe protocols in place". But, do remember that stage four restrictions begin at 11.59pm.
All of Victoria will revert back to stage four restrictions from 11.59pm on Friday, February 12 to 11.59pm on Wednesday, February 17. For more information about the rules, head to the Victorian Department of Health website.
Top image: Australian Open 2020 by Rob Keating via Wikimedia Commons
Published on February 12, 2021 by Samantha Teague