There will be no preferential treatment for five-time finalist Andy Murray who must return a negative Covid-19 test if he wants to play the Australian Open.
The former world number one was due to travel to Melbourne on one of a series of charter flights laid on by tournament organisers, but revealed on Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
He is isolating at home in London, casting major doubt over whether he will be able to play the opening Grand Slam of the year.
Britain’s Press Association news agency said the three-time major winner, apparently in good health, was hoping to arrive in Australia at a later date.
But Australian Open health chief vowed on Friday there will be no preferential treatment for Murray.
Victorian state health minister Martin Foley said the Scotsman won’t be getting any special favours.
“In regards to Mr. Murray, we’ve been clear from the start that anyone who tests positive is not able to be part of the programme coming into Melbourne and Australia,” he told reporters.
“Mr. Murray, and the other 1,240 people as part of the program, need to demonstrate that if they’re coming to Melbourne they have returned a negative test. So should Mr. Murray arrive, and I have no indication that he will, he will be subject to those same rigorous arrangements as everyone else. Should he test positive prior to his attempts to come to Australia, he will be refused.”
More than 1,200 players and support staff have begun arriving for 14 days’ quarantine ahead of the delayed tournament, which is due to start on February 8.