The Australian Open tennis tournament – one of the world’s four Grand Slam events – will be subject to capacity limits as the state of Victoria fights rising Covid-19 cases.
The move comes during a diplomatic spat between Serbia and Australia over the debate on whether to allow world number one men’s player Novak Djokovic to enter the country to compete in the event despite the tennis star not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Australian government overruled that decision, seeking to deport Djokovic before he successfully appealed against his removal.
A decision is expected today from Australia’s immigration minister after it was discovered Djokovic submitted incorrect information on his visa application and travel entry declaration.
“Ticket sales will be paused at 50% where a session has not already sold to that level,” the office of Victoria’s premier said on Thursday.
“All tickets purchased to date remain valid, and no tickets will be cancelled or changed. There will be no changes to ground pass access.”
The state government said face masks would be mandatory for all patrons, except when eating or drinking.
A density limit of one person per two square metres for all indoor hospitality events would be enforced.
Nearly 1 million cases of the Omicron variant have been reported in Australia this year. At least 147,000 cases were recorded across the country on Thursday.
New South Wales, the most populous state, reported nearly 92,000, while Victoria reported nearly 25,000 cases.
At least 53 deaths from the virus were reported.
- George Russell