Authorities have recognized 13 new circumstances tied to an worker of a quarantine resort in Melbourne, who examined optimistic for the so-called United Kingdom coronavirus variant on Monday. 5 of these circumstances have been recognized within the earlier 24 hours, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews stated at a information convention Friday.

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 folks don’t unwittingly infect others earlier than they understand they’ve contracted the virus themselves.

“We face a brand new form 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 little thing we will to maintain this virus at bay.”

Australia has not but begun rolling out coronavirus vaccines.

Play on the Australian Open, skilled tennis’ first Grand Slam of the 12 months, will proceed however with out spectators. Tennis Australia, which organizes the occasion, stated it can enact its broadcast-only contingency plan and can supply followers refunds if they’ve tickets they’ll now not use.

“Tennis Australia continues to work with the federal government to make sure the well being and security of everybody,” the group stated in a press release.

Andrews acknowledged simply how gut-wrenching these restrictive measures shall be to the folks of Victoria, who endured one of many world’s longest and strictest lockdowns last year. For months, Victorians have been having fun with regular, coronavirus-free lives because of their earlier sacrifices.

Tennis followers advised CNN that attending and internet hosting the Open, one among Melbourne’s largest occasions of the 12 months, was one thing residents felt that they had earned after so many weeks of vigilance. Folks should be capable of attend the match if the lockdown shouldn’t be prolonged previous 5 days, however the Open’s center weekend is normally its hottest.

“In the present day hurts. Victorians know, higher than anybody, simply how deeply,” he stated.

Andrews stated folks will solely be allowed to go away their dwelling for 4 causes: searching for requirements; care and caregiving; train; and work, whether it is deemed important by the federal government.

Customers and people going for train will solely be allowed to journey inside 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of their dwelling, except they don’t reside that near shops.

Most retail companies shall be compelled to shut, apart from important shops like supermarkets and pharmacies. Eating places and cafes shall be allowed to supply take-away service. And gatherings at non-public properties 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 newest in a collection of hurdles organizers of the annual tennis match have confronted of their efforts to placed on a profitable occasion throughout a pandemic.

The match 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 observe, however a number of folks linked to the Open examined optimistic for the virus whereas in quarantine — forcing 72 gamers to bear a extra intense quarantine by which they weren’t allowed to go away their rooms for the total 14 days.

Then, with simply days to go earlier than the beginning of the match, a safety guard in one among Melbourne’s quarantine motels examined optimistic for the virus — forcing his shut contacts again into isolation till they have been cleared of an infection.

That included greater than 500 Australian Open players and staff, all of whom examined unfavourable, permitting the match to proceed as deliberate.

Organizers had anticipate as much as 400,000 followers to attend the match this 12 months in a socially distanced method, round half the quantity that have been eventually 12 months’s competitors, and followers got here out in pressure on Monday for the primary day — relishing in the truth that they’re among the few folks on the planet capable of attend reside sports activities through the pandemic.

What occurs subsequent might have main implications for the delayed Summer season Olympics in Tokyo, because the Australian Open had been mooted as a model, albeit a smaller one, for the right way to safely host a sporting occasion with opponents arriving from all over the world.

Not like Australia, nevertheless, Japan is struggling to deal with rising coronavirus case numbers. Circumstances have greater than doubled previously two months to greater than 406,000, stretching Japan’s medical system to the brink even supposing the nation has essentially the most hospital beds per capita within the developed world.

Although Japan’s leaders have vowed the Video games shall be held, obstacles are mounting. The general public stays against internet hosting the occasion and Japan’s Organizing Committee must discover a new chief to interchange Yoshiro Mori, who is stepping down amid the furor attributable to sexist remarks he made final week.

CNN’s Chandler Thornton, Angus Watson, Ben Westcott and Paul Devitt contributed to this report


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