Spectators will not be admitted to the Australian Open as Melbourne faces a heavy five-day lockout announced by the Victorian government in response to the Holiday Inn Covid-19 cluster.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews confirmed on Friday that Melbourne will be locked from midnight. However, the Grand Slam will continue without fans in the stands from Saturday to Wednesday.
“The Victorian government has announced a five-day lockout starting at 11.59pm on Friday. The Australian Open sessions today and tonight will continue as planned, with COVIDSafe protocols in place,” a statement from Tennis Australia said.
“We are informing ticket holders, players and staff that there will be no fans on site at the AO for five days, starting on Saturday, February 13,” it added.
In addition, the organizers said that the refunds will be available to anyone who has tickets for these sessions, and will be advised how to apply as soon as possible.
“The AO-only contingency plan will start from Saturday until the restrictions are lifted. The game will continue uninterrupted on the show, albeit without on-site viewers,” the statement said.
A limit of 30,000 fans a day – about 50 percent of the usual attendance figure – has been imposed since the start of the first Grand Slam of the year on Monday.
The women’s final is scheduled for Saturday night next week, and for men – for Sunday.