‘It’s not worth the risk’

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    MELBOURNE. — Four more Australian Open participants, including one player, have been recorded with COVID-19 infections and more cases may come to light as testing continues, officials said on Monday.

    Health authorities in Victoria state have now reported nine infections among passengers that arrived in Melbourne on charter flights for the Feb. 8-21 Australian Open.

    “All four are associated with the tennis, and they’re all tucked away safely in hotel quarantine,” Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews told reporters of the new cases.

    Passengers on three Australian Open charter flights have now been sent into hard quarantine, including more than 70 players who are unable to train for 14 days ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam.

    “I think the people who tested positive thus far were probably exposed before they got on the flights,” Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

    “But it will be the test results in coming days that will give us a picture of whether anyone’s had an infection transmitted to them on a flight.

    “That’s why the rules are extremely strict for these tennis players and their entourage, as much as for any other international arrival.”

    The growing infection count has sparked calls from pundits to cancel the Grand Slam.