Chartered Flights, Training in Quarantine and More: How Will the Australian Open 2021 Bubble Work?

Published 12/05/2020, 3:38 AM EST
A general view inside Rod Laver Arena at sunset during the Men’s Singles Final match betwen Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 14 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)


With the schedule of the 2021 Australian Open confirmed, the governing body, Tennis Australia, has come up with an update on the protocols. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Open has been postponed by three weeks and will begin on February 8.

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As per the guidelines, no more than 1000 people from the tennis family can enter, hence, players will have to reduce the size of their respective teams.

A general view of Melbourne Park during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Most importantly, players will arrive in the country on chartered flights and Tennis Australia will provide the tickets but in the ‘economy’ category. However, players can get access to business class seating by paying an additional fee and the date of arrival will on the 15th and 16th of January.

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Strict protocols for 2021 Australian Open

After the touchdown, players and their coaching staff will have to quarantine for two weeks, but won’t be allowed to reside in private homes. Due to strict health protocols, the authorities have made it mandatory for the players to stay in official hotels to ensure they remain in the bio-secure bubble.

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Understanding the importance of training in tandem with safety, the local government will permit players to train but within a duration limit. Each player will be allowed to practice two hours on the court, two hours in the gym, and one hour of lunch in the tournament restaurant. Although the restrictions will be gradually eased once players give out negative test results.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – A general view of Rod Laver Arena during day six of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

After the completion of the 14-day quarantine period, players will have the liberty to move around the city and change hotels. In the free week from February 1-7, players have the option of competing in warm-up tournaments like the ATP Cup or ATP Tour 250.

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To ensure there are no false positives, players who test positive will have an option to take a second PCR test. However, if any player tests positive during the Australian Open, the person will be eliminated from the competition.

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Kshitij Tayal

392 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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