Aussie Open quarantine plan faces legal battle

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    MELBOURNE. — Apartment owners on the premises of a luxury Melbourne hotel are threatening legal action against plans by Australian Open organizers to use the hotel to quarantine players ahead of the Grand Slam, local media reported on Monday.

    The apartment owners at the Westin Melbourne said they had concerns for their health and never agreed to international players quarantining at the Westin, accusing the hotel’s management of “ambushing” them with the plan.

    “It’s incredibly arrogant to ambush us this way as if it’s a done deal. There are substantive public health and legal issues that have not even been examined,” Mark Nicholson, a long-time apartment owner at the Westin, told Fairfax Media.

    Hundreds of players are expected to arrive in Melbourne in mid-January and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine as part of COVID-19 protocols before the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open.

    “At 84, I’m in the vulnerable group and it’s shocking the way they tried to ram this through without any attempt to consult with us,” owner Digby Lewis told Fairfax.

    “I’m more than happy to toss in $10,000 or $20,000 to help the legal fight, it’s bloody shocking.”