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47 Australian Open players confined as Covid-19 cases found after flights

(Update 1: Adds positive from Abu Dhabi flight, details)

Melbourne, Australia, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- A total of 47 Australian Open players have been confined to quarantine hotel rooms and are unable to train for next month’s event after three people on two charter flights from the United States and the United Arab Emirates tested positive for Covid-19 after landing in Melbourne Friday.

Open organizers said in a statement that 24 players who were on a flight carrying 79 people — 67 passengers — from Los Angeles would quarantine after two people on board tested positive upon arrival in Australia. In a later statement, the competition added that another positive had been detected on a charter flight from Abu Dhabi and that 23 players on board would have to isolate for 14 days.

The positive case on the Abu Dhabi flight was not related to a player, the statement said.

However, all those on board the flights are now in quarantine, while the three positive cases are in health hotels.

Players will not be able to practice for the first Grand Slam of the year, due to begin on Feb. 8, as they will not be able to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days and until they have been medically cleared, the statement said.

Under original guidelines, the players were to be able to leave their rooms for five hours a day for practice purposes.

Mexican player Santiago González, who was on the flight, published to his social media an email he had been sent. It said: “Unfortunately we have been informed by the health authorities that two people on your flight from LAX that arrived at 5:15 am on Friday 15 January have returned positive COVID-19 PCR tests on arrival to Melbourne.

“The Chief Health Officer has reviewed the flight and has determined that everyone on board needs to isolate and will be confined to their rooms for the 14-day quarantine period.”

González, who showed videos of himself working out in his hotel room, also posted his negative Covid-19 test result.

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