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Australian Open face legal challenge on quarantine plans

Australian Open organisers, who planned on using a Melbourne hotel to quarantine their players ahead of the Grand Slam, are facing a legal challenge from apartment owners on the premises.

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The owners of the apartment, located in the Westin Melbourne, have expressed their concerns for their own wellbeing and had never agreed to allow the players to quarantine at the hotel , according to their lawyer Graeme Efron.

As part of the COVID-19 safety mandatory protocols, players will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival in mid-January, before the tournament starts from the beginning of February.

Efron, who spoke to Reuters on the legal challenge, said that Westin had presented the plans to the owners as a "done deal" only on Christmas Eve.

“No-one has told us that this has been mandated by a government authority to turn a partly residential city hotel into a quarantine hotel,” he said.

Management of the Westin claimed that they had shared a plan with the owners to, which would ensure that the hotel would be kept safe for its residents, including separate entrances and lifts.

Victoria, the state in which Melbourne is located, became the epicentre of the second wave outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which started at two hotels being used to quarantine international arrivals.

Author: Jake Wilkin