Australian Open kicks off with strict public health directions

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Photo by Renith R

The Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne today, 8 February, with strict public health directions in place across the Melbourne Park precinct to protect the efforts of Victorians to combat coronavirus.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula praised the ongoing work of Victorians to contain coronavirus, which has made it possible for the Grand Slam tournament to proceed, an official media release said.

Melbourne Park is divided into three zones around Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena as part of rigorous infection prevention and control measures in place to ensure the safety of players, officials, and the broader Victorian community.

Dedicated entry points will apply for each zone and no movement will be permitted between the zones.

There will be a daily crowd capacity of 30,000 for the first eight days, with 25,000 per day from the quarter-finals and 12,500 in Rod Laver Arena for the final three days of the tournament.

Over the two weeks of the event, this will equate to about half of the average attendance in the past three years.

“It’s been a tremendous effort by the people of Victoria, our public health team, the staff at COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria and Tennis Australia to get to this point where the gates are opening for fans at Melbourne Park”
— Martin Pakula

The Australian Open is a key pillar of Victoria’s major event program—last year it contributed an estimated $387 million to the state’s visitor economy.

The Victorian Government has invested almost $1 billion over the past 10 years in upgrading and expanding Melbourne Park so that it can continue to host the Open until at least 2039.

When completed in time for the 2023 Australian Open, the final stage in the Melbourne Park redevelopment will have created 2,300 full-time jobs through the Andrews Labor Government’s Local Jobs First Policy.

The final stage of the redevelopment includes the 5,000-seat Show Court Arena, a new event centre and conference space—Centrepiece at Melbourne Park—as well as two new match courts and a logistics hub.

Pakula, said, “It’s been a tremendous effort by the people of Victoria, our public health team, the staff at COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria and Tennis Australia to get to this point where the gates are opening for fans at Melbourne Park.

“This is a significant milestone in the recovery of our visitor economy and a boost for the hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants that help make Victoria such a great place.”

Tickets to the Australian Open are available at ausopen.com/tickets.


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