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With the city of Melbourne going into a five-day lockdown from Friday night at 23:59, the Australian Open Grand Slam will continue without members of the public present.

Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia chief, said that the players will compete in a biosecure ‘bubble’ so the tournament can continue.

“Those who will be allowed on site will be the players only and their support teams, as well as staff members who will be unable to do their work from home.”

Whether the public will be allowed to watch the tennis tournament once the lockdown is over, is still be decided.

EWN reports that under the restrictions, some five million people in Australia’s second-biggest city will have to remain at home for five days from midnight, except for a limited number of permitted essential activities.

It is believed that the UK strain of COVID-19 leaked from a quarantine hotel at the city’s airport which houses international travellers. The reason for the lockdown is to halt the outbreak.

The decision to let the tournament continue amid the lockdown has been met with mixed reactions as some believe it’s unfair that the tournament is allowed to continue, while other tournaments have had to be cancelled.

Image credit: Hickory Daily Record

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