‘Confusing and dangerous’: Readers respond to arrival of tennis players for the Australian Open – Sydney Morning Herald

Hoping for an Aussie winner: At first I was opposed, but considering how Melbourne lost all major events in 2020, it will be an uplifting event for people across Australia and internationally – ONLY as long all tennis players comply with the rules.

Denise: I don’t think the Australian Open should be going ahead as it could jeopardise all the hard work Victorians have done last year in lockdown, the sacrifices, distress and separation from family. It would be grossly unfair if we had to go into lockdown because COVID escaped from the AO quarantine hotels … it is not the time for such a super spreader event.

Natalya: I think it is incredibly offensive to spend huge amounts of resources on bringing tennis players from overseas when Victorians in Sydney and Brisbane still can’t get home. The exemption process is a joke and in complete chaos … Good on the media for keeping this issue live. It is disgraceful and not about health but politics.

Leigh: No amount of spin from government or TA will convince me they can safely manage quarantine. One slip-up and we’re back to lockdown. Just so some overpaid brats can whack a ball around. Unbelievable!!

Not provided: The tennis should not go ahead. Too many people coming into Australia from too many countries especially where testing and tracing is not up to best standard … We worked so hard through the winter to have a reasonable life now and this is too much of a risk … Also as we return to offices and school I feel it will encourage too many of the general public onto public transport risking social distancing.

Not provided: Definitely agree. The Australian Open has been planned meticulously and will be managed meticulously … The Victorian government is NOT taking chances … We are looking forward to the tennis.

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Not provided: Yes! But there should be no spectators.

Megan: No, too much movement across too many sites each day with players and staff, so it’s not quarantine. The potential for a transmission event is very high. I Love the tennis but the risk is too high … Everyone should be able to get on with the start of the year in a COVID-safe way without this stress … the government have got this completely wrong.

John: I disagree. Doing an irresponsible thing, responsibly, doesn’t make it responsible. (Daniel Andrews should “get off the beers”.)

Name not provided: Yes, as long as it’s done safely we should be proud to show the world our success in managing COVID and getting crowds back to events

John: I disagree. I consider Melbourne Park a provisional red zone and wouldn’t go near the place during the tournament.

Glen: Yes. The players are not taking spots in the arrivals cap or commercial flights, have a very strong quarantine/isolation program and are important to returning to some normalcy in Victoria.

Biosecurity and airport staff in PPE gather around the chartered flight carrying tennis players and staff into Melbourne on Thursday.

Biosecurity and airport staff in PPE gather around the chartered flight carrying tennis players and staff into Melbourne on Thursday.Credit:Getty Images

Name not provided: If a tennis player only has to return a negative result to travel from areas which have tens or hundreds of thousands of active cases in the community, why can’t the same test result-based rule be applied to the thousands of Victorian’s in Brisbane, where there is zero community transmission? It’s a complete hypocrisy.

Wendy: I’m sick of elite sports people always being given every free pass in this country. What about the thousands of people who are citizens and Victorian residents who can’t even get back into their own country or state? But you know, sport.

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Claire: I disagree as the consistent messages from Victorian government is that no level of risk is acceptable such as people who went to 7-11 after 9pm during lockdown but now it’s OK to let tennis players in from countries where people are dying from COVID 19 every minute. Surely this poses a greater risk.

Suzanne Perillo: I agreed with tennis being here until people were locked out of Victoria.

Name not provided: There’s sports mad, but then there is this. Such a flagrant grab for cash.

Chris: We should be more concerned about the public health interest rather than hitting a yellow fuzzy ball back and forward across a net (and i make this comment as an avid tennis player and fan).

Name not provided: As an Australian stranded overseas I think this is disgraceful.

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Brett: If they can pull it off with no infection spread, then it would be a feather in the cap for the Victorian Government. But they’re also adding risk of infection to hotel quarantine workers and increasing workload for testing and tracing departments.

Kathryn: I think it’s OK for the Australian open to happen but while it’s happening alongside Victorian’s being locked out of their own homes from relatively low risk areas, I think it’s a travesty. The Victorian government should at least afford their own residents the same opportunities they’ve given the tennis players coming from high risk areas.

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