Australia says 'no' to tennis stars' demands




 

Some of the world's top tennis players including No. 1 Novak Djokovic have questioned Australia's strict quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open tournament that kicks off next month.

But Australian authorities again echoed their earlier stance, that the rules would not be bent for anyone.

More than 70 players and their entourages are confined to their hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights tested positive for the coronavirus.

On the top of the list for requests, players demanded that they should be allowed to train on tennis courts during their mandated 14-day hotel quarantine.

On Tuesday, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said the answer was simply "no".

Tournament director Craig Tiley spoke to the players on a call Monday night to smooth over their concerns:

"On that call there were about 500 players and the vast majority are happy to be here, pleased to be here and really getting ready in the next two weeks to be able to get out and play the lead-in events and then play the Australian Open."

Meanwhile in neighbouring state, New South Wales, Hollywood actor Matt Damon was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine after arriving in Sydney to film a sequel to the superhero film "Thor".

Damon flew in on a private jet, will stay in a rented house under security and pay for hospital-grade cleaning for his 14-day quarantine, that's according to a doctor involved with his quarantine who spoke to local media.

Australians questioned how the government could make room for 1,200 tennis players and their entourages for next month's Australian Open, but not its own citizens who are stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The country has halved the number of people who can return to the country each week, as positive coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine rise.

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