Australian Open may run into yet another obstacle as apartment owners of a luxury Melbourne hotel are likely to oppose the organisers’ plan of using it to quarantine players there.
The Australian Open is looking at Westin Melbourne as one of the possible quarantine hotels. But apartment owners in the hotel are concerned for their health, their lawyer Graeme Efron told Reuters on Monday.
ALSO READ: ‘If Serena had little decency, she would retire,’ says Ion Tiriac
“My instructions are to get an injunction. So at this stage, that’s where we’re going,” Efron said.
With the Australian Open set to begin on February 8, players and their entourages are expected to arrive in Melboure in mid-January and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine as part of COVID-19 protocols.
Sharpen your forehand with our FREE guide
Efron said the Westin had informed the owners on Christmas Eve about the quarantine plans and presented it as a “done deal.”
“No-one has told us that this has been mandated by a government authority to turn a partly residential city hotel into a quarantine hotel,” he said.
ALSO READ: Sofia Kenin’s management agency drops her
Owners, who include some of the country’s top business people, said they felt “ambushed” by the quarantine plan.
“At 84, I’m in the vulnerable group and it’s shocking the way they tried to ram this through without any attempt to consult with us,” owner Digby Lewis told Fairfax media.
ALSO READ: Slovakia’s Baskova gets 12-year ban for match fixing
Westin management said their “COVID safe” plan had been shared with the owners corporation, adding that residents would use a separate entrance and lifts and have no contact with players and quarantine staff.
Melbourne, capital of Victoria state, was the epicentre of Australia’s largest second wave outbreak of COVID-19, which started at two quarantine hotels for international arrivals.
ALSO READ: ATP finds Querrey’s ‘conduct contrary to integrity of the game’
More than 18,000 infections were recorded in Victoria during the outbreak and nearly 800 deaths.