COVID-19 Latest bubble idea is being panned.
Tennis’ Australian Open is the first major international sports event on the docket in 2021 and the plan is to go ahead with this year’s tournament despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Open is scheduled to start on February 8th and will conclude on February 21st. Tennis Australia plans to put up a sports bubble and has rented space in a luxury Melbourne hotel where the players will stay. Tennis Australia’s plan includes quarantining players for 14 days in the facility once they arrive in Melbourne. The players are expected to be in Australia in mid-January. But in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Apparently, the apartment owners in the hotel are not too thrilled with the international travelers staying at the place and want Tennis Australia to find another place to house the Australian Open participants. The residents are concerned about their health and they claim the hotel owner never told them that it was going to house the players. But the hotel owner claims that the apartment owners were told on Christmas Eve that the players and assorted Australia Open staffers and other personnel were coming.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and the state was the epicenter of Australia’s largest second wave outbreak of COVID-19. The residents may have a point of not wanting the players at the hotel. That COIVID-19 second wave was started at two quarantine hotels for international arrivals. There were more than 18,000 infections in Victoria during that outbreak and there were nearly 800 deaths. Melbourne was locked down in July and August with most businesses closed, a night curfew in place and people had to stay within three miles of their homes. The lockdown worked. COVID-19 rates are low. But the games must go on.
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