Coronavirus updates LIVE: Australian Open crisis continues as international travel still off the cards for 2021

Coronavirus updates LIVE: Australian Open crisis continues as international travel still off the cards for 2021

Summary

  • Tennis Australia has disputed a statement from Victorian health officials confirming that two tennis players who arrived in Melbourne for the Australian Open have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
  • Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said international travel would likely be one of the last things to return to normality following a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • On Tuesday, NSW, Victoria and Queensland all recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.
  • The Northern Beaches local government area is no longer subject to ACT travel restrictions. However, people from 10 other Sydney areas are still not allowed to visit the territory without undergoing quarantine on arrival.
  • The global case tally has passed more than 95 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University count, with more than 2 million deaths.

‘Hard times for athletes’: Tennis star apologises for quarantine outburst

Spanish tennis star Roberto Bautista Agut has apologised for criticising the Victorian government's handling of the Australian Open quarantine saga after he compared his lockdown to prison.

The world No.13 posted a message to Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning after he told an Israeli news channel that the government “have no idea about tennis, about practice courts, no idea about anything”.

Roberto Bautista AgutCredit:AP

“I want to apologise to everyone who has been offended by the video that was posted about me recently,” Mr Agut, who is currently in quarantine ahead of the first grand slam of the year, said.

“It is a private conversation taken out of context that has unfortunately been released to the media without my knowledge or my consent.

“Both my coach and I are following the protocols designed by the Australian government and Tennis Australia to avoid any risk and guarantee to compete again in a safe way. These are hard times for athletes and society in general.

“I thank all the people who are making playing tennis again possible. As well as all those who fight against COVID-19 every day. The management that has been made in Australia to prevent the spread of the virus is admirable."

While Mr Agut made a point of directing his anger towards the Victorian government – and not Tennis Australia – the 32-year-old also said he could not imagine having to remain in lockdown for two weeks.

The Australian Open quarantine saga took another twist on Tuesday when Tennis Australia disputed a statement from Victorian health officials that players had tested positive to coronavirus.

Australia’s banks acted quickly to avoid a wave of foreclosures at the height of the coronavirus crisis.Credit:Henry Zwartz

But banks are now preparing to rebuff new applications for this relief in preparation for the end of the program in March. A note from National Australia Bank to mortgage brokers, seen by this masthead, said it would not accept any applications after January 20 for these mortgage holidays.

Read more: Major banks to stop accepting COVID-19 mortgage holiday applications

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Here’s a recap of our top stories from yesterday:

  • NSW, Victoria and Queensland all recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
  • Tennis Australia has disputed a statement from Victorian health officials confirming that two tennis players who arrived in Melbourne for the Australian Open have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
  • Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, said international travel would likely be one of the last things to return to normality following a successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
  • The Northern Beaches local government area is no longer subject to ACT travel restrictions. However, people from 10 other Sydney areas are still not allowed to visit the territory without undergoing quarantine on arrival.
  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said Victoria will maintain a more conservative approach to its borders than other states following criticism from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for ongoing travel restrictions for parts of Greater Sydney.
  • US President-elect Joe Biden plans to quickly extend travel restrictions barring travel by most people who have recently been in much of Europe and Brazil soon after outgoing President Donald Trump lifted those requirements effective on January 26.

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