Australian Open 2021: Preparation halted after hotel worker returns COVID-19 positive

Just when the Australian Tennis Open looked on track, a positive case of COVID-19 has forced players back into quarantine. 

A 26-year-old hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne has tested positive for coronavirus.

The worker works for the Australian Open quarantine programme and last attended the Grand Hyatt Hotel - where star players have been staying - on January 29,

The positive test came through on Wednesday, throwing further uncertainty around the Open, which begins in just four days. 

All players, officials and support staff at the hotel are considered casual contacts, and must be tested and isolate, before they can return to competition. 

"We are aware of a new positive case of coronavirus in a hotel quarantine worker," Victoria’s Department of Health says.

"Our public health teams are investigating and close contacts are being notified. More details will be provided throughout the evening."

Tennis Australia has announced that all matches scheduled for Thursday at warm-up tournaments have been postponed until Friday.