The sight of a few of the world’s largest tennis stars touching down for the forthcoming Australian Open has annoyed many Australians unable to return residence due to the pandemic.
Australia presently has a weekly cap on the variety of worldwide arrivals, with individuals having to bear quarantine in a delegated facility.
There are roughly 37,000 Australians ready to return, ABC News experiences.
Plenty of airways have suspended routes making it tougher to journey again.
On Friday, Emirates airline introduced it could be stopping its flights to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Meanwhile, organisers of the Australian Open have been placing on chartered flights for the gamers and different members of employees.
Players needed to take a look at adverse earlier than boarding flights and had been then positioned in designated Australian Open quarantine lodges in Melbourne and Adelaide. They are, nonetheless, allowed out of their rooms for as much as 5 hours a day to practise on court docket.
The first of those teams, on a flight from Los Angeles, reportedly contains two-time champion Victoria Azarenka and former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.
Tennys Sandgren, who examined optimistic however was cleared to fly by organisers after his medical file was reviewed, can be believed to have been on the flight.
A second group of 23 gamers on a flight from United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi suffered the identical destiny. Both flights arrived on Friday.
Those gamers can have lower than 10 days to practise earlier than the match begins on 8 February. Reports say they may have gymnasium gear delivered to their rooms.
UK participant Johanna Konta, who was not on both of the affected flights, tweeted about exercises in her lodge room to encourage health in confined areas.
Meanwhile former tennis world primary Andy Murray has been unable to fly out to Australia after the Briton examined optimistic for coronavirus.
The arrival of the tennis gamers, whereas so many Australians are nonetheless attempting to return residence, has drawn criticism.
“I can’t comprehend the fact that one week they announce they’re halving the caps for citizens and the following week they announce they’ve found 1,200 spaces for tennis players and support staff,” Sarah, a key employee who lives in London however is from Sydney, instructed the BBC.
She has been attempting to return to Sydney since October and her most up-to-date flight was cancelled.
“All I want to do is return home. I’ve had to watch my sister’s wedding on Zoom. My flight was timed so I get out of quarantine in time for her baby shower but it looks like I’ll miss this and the birth”.
On Saturday, the Australian authorities stated it could prepare for an extra 20 worldwide repatriation flights to convey its stranded nationals residence from “priority areas”. Those returning wouldn’t be counted throughout the current traveller caps, a minister confirmed.
Dr Alyse Brown is presently primarily based in Cambridge within the UK and has flights booked to Sydney subsequent month. She has been attempting to lift consciousness in regards to the challenge.
“While the Australians back home watch the tennis, I’ll be reading on support pages the daily horror stories of stranded Australians entering into homelessness,” she instructed the BBC, talking earlier than the most recent announcement on flights from the federal government.
“It has always been apparent to us that Australia has means to get their people home, they just lack the political will to do so and this makes me unspeakably mad. It’s heartless economic decision making and the tennis for us is just another group of people we see the government prioritised above us.”
People have taken to Twitter utilizing the hashtag #strandedaussies to share their views.
One consumer stated: “Thousands of Australian citizens are still stranded overseas. I’ve been a huge tennis fan for close to 40 years, but this is just wrong. I will not be supporting this Australian summer of tennis.”
Earlier this week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews stated that if Melbourne cancelled the match, it could be picked up by one other nation.
What are the foundations in Australia?
Australia has strict limits on the variety of arrivals allowed to enter the nation. Authorities say that is to make sure there’s sufficient room in a authorities quarantine facility.
Unlike different international locations, these arriving in Australia should quarantine in a delegated facility or lodge as an alternative of their very own houses.
The cap on individuals getting into was reduce additional final week after a lodge employee in Queensland contracted the UK variant of the coronavirus.
Until 15 February, New South Wales can have a weekly cap of 1,505 arrivals, Western Australia will allow 512 individuals and Queensland can have a cap of 500.
Victoria and South Australia have stored their caps the identical. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territories had their very own “bespoke arrangements” for these arriving.
The Australian authorities has operated a lot of repatriation flights however demand has been excessive.
Last month, in an interview on the Seven TV community, Mr Morrison stated Australians abroad had been his “first priority in terms of people coming back into the country”.
“We want you to come home and you have every right to come home,” he stated.
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