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Australian Open rocked by Qatar Airways flight affected by COVID-19

The Australian Open has been dealt another blow after a passenger on board a third flight into Melbourne carrying tennis players and staff tested positive to COVID-19.

The Qatar Airways flight QR7485 arrived from Doha at 5:30am on Saturday.

MORE AUSTRALIAN OPEN NEWS: Australian Open stars rage after COVID-19 positives force them into hard quarantine

Every person on the flight is now required to complete a 14-day quarantine.

The news that a passenger on the flight from Doha had tested positive to the coronavirus was reported by French tennis player Alexandre Müller on Twitter late on Sunday.

“Unfortunately we have some bad news for you. We have just been informed by the health authorities that a person on your flight … has returned a positive PCR test on arrival in Melbourne,” the communication from Tennis Australia said.

“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.

“We know this has a major impact on your preparations for the AO and the rest of the Aussie summer. We are here to do everything we can to mitigate this impact.”

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria issued the following statement:

“An Australian Open participant who is not a player will be transferred to a health hotel following a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement read.

“The passenger arrived in Melbourne at 5.30am on 16 January 2021 on charter flight QR7485 from Doha, carrying Australian Open participants and other attendees.

“They had previously tested negative to their pre-departure test.

“All remaining 57 passengers have been deemed close contacts. Any players and support people will not be able to leave quarantine to attend training.

“The mandatory quarantine program takes the approach that all overseas arrivals, regardless if they have tested negative, have the potential to be carrying the virus.

“The passengers are all in quarantine hotels, where they will undergo regular testing for COVID-19.

“The passengers who have been designated close contacts will be unable to access training and will undertake a standard 14-day quarantine period.

“Players are being supported to access equipment for their hotel rooms to help them maintain their fitness during this time.

“They were transported under strict IPC protocols, they are quarantined and tested.

“There are no other known positive tests from this flight, but routine testing will continue for passengers.

“Before any person can exit quarantine after 14 days, they must be first medically cleared by public health experts.”

The Australian Open has now been hit with five cases of COVID-19 after the arrival of three virus-affected planes.

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