Australian Open can continue without fans despite lockdown
The Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne will continue but without fans, despite a five-day lockdown ordered Friday in its host city to control an outbreak of the UK coronavirus strain, officials said.
Premier Daniel Andrews of Victoria state, which includes Melbourne, said the tennis Open venue would be considered a "workplace" that can continue to function with limited staff.
Authorities ordered a snap, five-day lockdown in Melbourne on Friday to contain a new coronavirus outbreak, casting doubt on the fate of the Australian Open grand slam tennis tournament, which began in the city this week.
Under the restrictions, some five million people in Australia’s second-biggest city will have to remain at home for five days from midnight except for a limited number of permitted activities.
Premier Daniel Andrews of Victoria state, which includes Melbourne, said the lockdown was necessary to halt an outbreak of the “hyper-infectious” UK strain of COVID-19, which leaked from a quarantine hotel at the city airport.