The Australian Open has announced a fourth case of coronavirus, with the commissioner warning some players and their entourages are attempting “dangerous acts” which are breaching quarantine rules.
Commissioner for COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, Emma Cassar, made the announcement on Sunday afternoon as she flagged a number of people within the quarantine system have attempted to break the strict rules around their mandatory isolation.
The latest case is a member of the broadcast team, who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving on a flight from Los Angeles.
There are now 62 people who have been identified as close contacts of the four cases, who will have to undergo 14 days of quarantine.
The cases will be transferred to Melbourne’s Holiday Inn, with Ms Cassar telling reporters some players and support crews who are testing the state’s quarantine regime might not be far behind them.
Ms Cassar flagged Victorian officials will issue fines and further action for players who try and breach the laws which are designed to contain potential strains of coronavirus from entering Australia.
“We take all breaches really seriously,” she said.
“For the players that is a fine of up to $20,000, a warning from the police, but what we have also considered today is for those who are persistently breaching or not willing to remain in their rooms, our other option would be to transfer people to the complex care hotel where there is a member Victoria Police outside the door.”
It is understood the breaches have been linked to players and crew members leaving rooms to speak to one another.
“Some of these challenging behaviours include one player who opened his door to try and have a conversation with his training mate down the hallway,” Ms Cassar said.
“It is very low level, but they are dangerous acts that we cannot tolerate.”
Another example flagged by Ms Cassar was a player who shouted food for others within the hotel – which is allowed – before breaking the rules by opening his door to “praise himself for his great efforts”.
The complex care hotel is the Novotel situated in the city’s central business district.
Players infected or potentially exposed to the US strain have been denied practice times on court under Victoria’s quarantine rules.
Results for people impacted by both the Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi are expected to be revealed at 3.30pm on Sunday.