MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – Australia’s Victoria state reported zero COVID cases on Saturday for the second straight day. This has helped taper down concerns about the Australian Open tennis tournament slated to start in Melbourne on Monday.
Authorities were worried after a worker at the player’s quarantine hotel caught the virus. More than 500 staff and players had to undergo retesting. However, they turn out to be negative.
Positive cases could have spurred a lockdown or more limits on spectators attending the tournament.
The event which saw a crowd of 800,000 last year, will have only 50% of the capacity, that is about 30,000 spectators.
Qualifying matches were cancelled on Thursday while test results were pending.
The Victorian government has ruled that, except for players, masks will be mandatory for matches played under a closed roof. Following the most recent case, masks are required in all indoor spaces in Victoria.
“That applies to the stadia at the Australian Open when the roofs are closed, it’s like any other indoor setting,” Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said at a press conference on Saturday.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Twitter that there was no new community coronavirus case across the whole of Australia Saturday.
“That makes zero on 16 of the last 18 days,” Hunt wrote.