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Victoria Five-Day Lockdown: Australian Open To Continue Without Crowds

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Victoria Five-Day Lockdown: Australian Open To Continue Without Crowds

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ictorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced an immediate five-day lockdown due to growing COVID-19 cases linked to a Melbourne quarantine hotel.

Announcing the decision, Andrews said: “I know it’s not the place that we wanted to be in.”

“However, we’ve all given so much, we’ve all done so much.

“We’ve built something precious, and we have to make difficult decisions, and do difficult things, in order to defend what we’ve built.

“I am confident that this short, sharp circuit breaker will be effective.

“We will be able to smother this.

“We will be able to prevent it getting away from us.

“I want to be here on Wednesday next week announcing that these restrictions are coming off, but I can’t do it on my own.

“I need every single Victorian to work with me, and with our team, so that we can run this to ground and we can see this strategy work,” he said.

As part of the lockdown, public gatherings will no longer be permitted, along with leaving home for any reason other than essential supplies, care, caregiving, exercise and essential work, and a 5km travel distance for exercise and shopping has been put in place.

This decision has raised alarms for the Australian Open tournament, which is currently on day five at Melbourne Park, along with all other sports currently taking place in Victoria.

Early reports suggest fans will no longer be allowed to attend the Australian Open, and the AFLW has put all ticket sales on hold for the upcoming weekend of matches during the Stage 4 lockdown, which begins at 11:59pm on Friday and is scheduled to end at 11:59pm on Wednesday.

Despite the Australian Open allowing up to 30,000 fans each day at Melbourne Park, the attendance figures have been closer to 19,000 each day so far.

Andrews said: “AFLW or that event or any number of other large and small professional sport events, they will function essentially as a workplace.”

“But they will not function as an entertainment event, because there will be no crowds.

“And the workforce will be the minimum that is needed in order for that to be COVID-safe and safe in lots of other contexts.

“That’s not the distinction we have drawn,” Andrews said, discussing whether the decision means athletes are classified as essential workers.

“If you can work from home, you must from home.

“That’s the guiding principle.

“And I think that probably answers the question [on athletes being essential workers].

“You can’t stack shelves at the supermarket at home.

“You can’t be involved in AFLW from home.

“That’s the basis of it.

“Again, if it was a longer term prospect, not five days, things might well be different.

“That’s not the situation we’re in,” he said.

Speaking on professional sporting events, the Victorian Government said: “Venues hosting professional sporting competitions can open, with essential staff attending to ensure the safe running of the event.”

“No spectators,” the table of restrictions provided by the Victorian Government, said.

The Victorian Government has confirmed all indoor physical recreation and sport venues, as well as outdoor physical recreation and community sport venues, will close.

There are now 19 active cases of COVID-19 across Victoria, with 13 cases linked to the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport.

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