Andrews that “this hyper-infectious variant is shifting at hyper-speed,” and to cease it the federal government wanted to enact a brief, strict lockdown so individuals don’t unwittingly infect others earlier than they notice they’ve contracted the virus themselves.
“We face a brand new type of enemy. A virus that’s smarter, and quicker, and extra infectious,” Andrews stated of the variant. “Till we now have a vaccine, we have to do every thing we will to maintain this virus at bay.”
Australia has not but begun rolling out coronavirus vaccines.
“Tennis Australia continues to work with the federal government to make sure the well being and security of everybody,” the group stated in an announcement.
Tennis followers advised CNN that attending and internet hosting the Open, considered one of Melbourne’s greatest occasions of the yr, was one thing residents felt that they had earned after so many weeks of vigilance. Individuals should still have the ability to attend the event if the lockdown is just not prolonged previous 5 days, however the Open’s center weekend is normally its hottest.
“As we speak hurts. Victorians know, higher than anybody, simply how deeply,” he stated.
Andrews stated individuals will solely be allowed to go away their house for 4 causes: purchasing for requirements; care and caregiving; train; and work, whether it is deemed important by the federal government.
Consumers and people going for train will solely be allowed to journey inside 5 kilometers (Three.1 miles) of their house, until they don’t dwell that near shops.
Most retail companies might be compelled to shut, in addition to important shops like supermarkets and pharmacies. Eating places and cafes might be allowed to supply take-away service. And gatherings at non-public houses and in public are prohibited.
“By limiting our motion, we restrict the potential unfold of the virus,” Andrews stated.
The Open’s hurdles
Victoria’s lockdown is the most recent in a sequence of hurdles organizers of the annual tennis event have confronted of their efforts to placed on a profitable occasion throughout a pandemic.
The event was initially delayed by three weeks, and the federal government mandated that gamers coming from abroad can be required to quarantine for 14 days. The preliminary plan had been to permit gamers in quarantine 5 hours a day to follow, however a number of individuals linked to the Open examined constructive for the virus whereas in quarantine — forcing 72 gamers to endure a extra intense quarantine through which they weren’t allowed to go away their rooms for the complete 14 days.
Then, with simply days to go earlier than the beginning of the event, a safety guard in considered one of Melbourne’s quarantine motels examined constructive for the virus — forcing his shut contacts again into isolation till they have been cleared of an infection.
Organizers had anticipate as much as 400,000 followers to attend the event this yr in a socially distanced method, round half the quantity that have been ultimately yr’s competitors, and followers got here out in drive on Monday for the primary day — relishing in the truth that they’re a number of the few individuals on the planet capable of attend dwell sports activities throughout the pandemic.
As information of the snap lockdown broke on Friday, many video games have been already underway with followers getting their final glimpse of motion for at the least 5 days.
Notably, Serena Williams stored her hopes of a record-equaling 24th grand slam title alive after surviving a minor scare.
The American saved two set factors in her match in opposition to Anastasia Potapova however recovered to win in straight units 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
Talking of the lockdown after her match, Williams stated: “It is tough. It’ll be a tough few days for I feel everybody. However we’ll hopefully get by means of it.”
In the meantime, Naomi Osaka battled previous Ons Jabeur 6-Three 6-2 to achieve the fourth spherical of the event.
In contrast to Australia, nonetheless, Japan is struggling to deal with rising coronavirus case numbers. Instances have greater than doubled up to now two months to greater than 406,000, stretching Japan’s medical system to the brink even though the nation has essentially the most hospital beds per capita within the developed world.
CNN’s Chandler Thornton, Angus Watson, Ben Westcott and Paul Devitt contributed to this report