Andy Murray Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of the Australian Open
The Australian Open was delayed by three weeks and is now set to start on Feb. 8
On Thursday morning, the Australian Open shared a statement on Twitter announcing that the 33-year-old professional tennis player tested positive for the novel respiratory illness and will not be taking part in the annual tennis tournament.
"Andy Murray has advised that he has tested positive to COVID-19 and is isolating at home in the UK," the tournament's statement began. "Unfortunately this means he will be unable to join the official AO charter flights arriving in Australia in the coming days to go through the quarantine period with the other players."
The statement added: "The AO fans love Andy, and we know how much he loves competing here in Melbourne and how hard he'd worked for this opportunity."
The Australian Open previously confirmed a three-week delay from the middle of January to early February and is now set to start on Feb. 8, according to the ATP schedule.
In another statement from the Australian Open on Thursday, the tournament noted their requirements for players wishing to enter the competition.
"Players are only allowed to enter Australia for the Australian Open with proof of a negative COVID-19 test done just prior to departure, or with approval to travel as a recovered case at the complete discretion of an Australian government authority," the statement read. "Anyone wanting to travel to the AO who has previously tested positive to COVID-19 is required to provide additional and highly detailed medical information as proof they are a recovered case and no longer infections or a risk to the community."
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Then, noting the case of tennis player Tennys Sandgren, "who has self-disclosed that he previously tested positive in late November," the statement continued, "his medical file had to be reviewed by Victorian health authorities. Upon completion of that review he was cleared to fly."
"Any recovered case must go through this process in order to have an opportunity to travel here for the Australian Open," the statement read. "No one can travel without either proof of a negative test of this special clearance from authorities confirming they are not infectious."
Concluding their message, the Australian Open wrote, "Upon arrival all players are immediately placed in a secure quarantine environment for 14 days under the authority of COVID Quarantine Victoria, and will undergo a more rigorous testing schedule than most returning travelers."
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Murray — who was awarded a wildcard to play in the main draw of this year's first Grand Slam — is still hopeful he can compete in the Australian Open next month.
According to The New York Times, Murray was reported as not showing any symptoms of COVID and hopes to compete like Sandgren.
But, even if Murray recovers from COVID-19 soon, it would still be hard for him to make it to Australia, ESPN reported.
Players and officials must arrive during a 36-hour window from Thursday, according to the outlet, and must isolate themselves for 14 days, according to the health protocols mentioned by the Australian Open.
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