Paula Badosa will need a negative virus test to escape Melbourne lockdown after coming up COVID-positive for the virulent UK strain of the bug.

Spanish sports paper MARCA reported on Wednesday that the only player to actually fall ill after arriving in Australia is afflicted with the more dangerous virus flavour along with her coach, Javier Marti.

They have been confined in regular pre-Australian Open isolation for nearly the full 14 days after arriving from the WTA event in Abu Dhabi..

But due to the more serious characteristics of the UK strain, cautious health officials will require a negative result in the next day or two when their two-week lockdown ends.

If that is not forthcoming, their confinement could stretch to February 3, just five days before the delayed start of the Open.

Under normal quarantine circumstances, players who once tested positive for the “regular” COVID version are released after the 14-day isolation period ends.

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