Any violations of COVID-19 protocols at the upcoming virus edition of the Australian Open will be severely punished, with massive fines, possible criminal penalties and deportation all in the toolbox.
A zero-tolerance policy is in the offering for any violators.
TD Craig Tiley has again repeated to players and support teams that the law will come down on any violations like a tonne of bricks as prep continues for the start of a 14-day pre-event quarantine from next weekend.
The South African supremo has laid down the law in a message to players:
“Any breaches could also result in one or more of the following: disqualification from our events, forfeiture of prize money, extended quarantine, isolation in a government-mandated hotel room, arrest and deportation.” a message read.
“Any breach by your team will be considered as a breach by you.”
The delayed Open will begin three weeks late with the Victorian government calling the shots concerning strict and onerous health protocols.
During the quarantine period, players only – not family – are allowed out of hotel rooms for up to five hours per day strictly for training, physio or meals at the Melbourne Park venue.
The event itself will look like the US and French Opens of last autumn, with players onsite for the minimum time and then back into hotel-room “captivity” in order to minimise mingling of people.
The sprawling tennis venue will be divided into ticket zones, to help with contact tracing should a virus case arise among an as-yet undefined number of public.
Tiley got in a last word of warning to his flock concerning the locked-down major.
“It was a bit of a bumpy ride at the beginning but the last six months – the last eight months – the players have been really good about their approach to this.
“They fully understand what the implications are if there’s a breach.
“The Grand Slams have different rules and we are very strong in our application of those rules.
“The players do understand that any breach would be a dismissal and return home (so) we can protect our community.”
Around 350 players are expected to arrive on chartered planes to begin life inside the Melbourne bio-bubble, with support staff and coaches accounting for the remainder of the 1,000 person maximum.