The problems raised at the weekend by the residents of the apartments at the Westin Hotel which had been designated to house players during the 14-day quarantine for the Australian Open required by the authorities, has been resolved. The contract has been cancelled.
We didn't want to end up in a fight with a key partner that we've used in the past, We have secured a different hotel for the AO which will start being stood up today and tomorrow Police Minister Lisa Neville
The residents maintain that they were not consulted about the arrangements for the players who are due to arrive in 10 days time, and threatened legal action as they feared possible Covid infection from the travellers despite the assurances provided by the authorities, including the Acting Premier Jacinta Allan.
“The Westin, like every venue, went through a rigorous assessment, very strict infection prevention measures have been put in place in all of the venues,” she said.
“There are separate entrances, there are separate floors, there are floor monitors on every floor, there is 24/7 Victoria Police presence associated with every venue.”
However, those assurances did not placate the 36 residents so alternative arrangements have been made.
Police Minister Lisa Neville has announced a different hotel will now be used to quarantine the players and their entourages.
“We didn’t want to end up in a fight with a key partner that we’ve used in the past,” she said. “We have secured a different hotel for the AO which will start being stood up today and tomorrow.”
Ms Neville confirmed the Victorian Government became aware of the residents’ concerns on Sunday.
“This is about having goodwill with hotel partners,” she added. “We were also aware it may have delayed the start of the Australian Open.
“All hotels will be announced next week when they’re gazetted.”
The hotels used for quarantine in the Australian Open are chosen by COVID Quarantine Victoria (CQV) in consultation with Tennis Australia who issued their own statement.
“Several hotels in Melbourne have already been secured, including a replacement for the Westin, to safely accommodate the international playing group and their team members as well as allow for them to properly prepare for the first Grand Slam of the year,” it read. “The health and safety of everyone is our top priority.”