Australian Open on alert as 2nd hotel worker tests positive for Covid

A second hotel quarantine worker tested positive for Covid-19 in Melbourne on Monday, the same day the Australian Open (AO) commenced.

Last Wednesday, a quarantine worker at one of the hotels directly linked to the Australian Open had also tested positive for coronavirus, forcing the cancellation of a day’s play at lead-in events, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tournament Director Craig Tilley said that he was confident the event could go ahead safely despite Monday’s case.

“We’ve been preparing this for over a year, it will be one of the safest places to be through the health screening that we are doing,” Tilley told Channel Nine.

Victoria State officials said the latest case was employed at Melbourne Airport’s Holiday Inn and tested negative on February 4 before returning to work on February 7 where they developed symptoms and returned a positive result.

Several venues in Melbourne were named as being attended by the worker while potentially infectious with officials launching a full public health response.

“We are contacting Holiday Inn Airport workers and others who are considered primary close contacts. They are required to immediately isolate, get tested and remain isolated for 14 days,” the Victorian Government Department of Health said in a statement.

In response to the first hotel worker testing positive, Victoria reintroduced Covid-19 containment measures, including mandating face masks indoors and reducing the number of visitors allowed in homes to 15.