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The Australian Open will go ahead despite nearly 50 players being forced into strict two-week hotel quarantine after three virus cases on two chartered planes, Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley said.

The tournament was dealt a fresh blow after a second charter flight carrying players and staff was found to have COVID positive cases onboard, bringing the total to three.

It means a total of 47 players, plus officials and other staff won’t be allowed to leave their quarantine hotel rooms as planned.

But Mr Tiley said the event will start on February 8 as scheduled.

READ MORE: Australian Open stars rage after COVID-19 positives force them into hard quarantine

“We are planning on February 8. We have two weeks of some great tennis and our intention is to absolutely continue with those dates.” he told Weekend Today.

A passenger tested positive to the virus after the flight landed in Melbourne at 8.20am on January 15 from Abu Dhabi.

They are not a player and has been transferred to a health hotel to undertake a 14-day quarantine period.

However health authorities deemed everyone on the flight a close contact, now forcing a total of 47 players into strict isolation across the two planes, unable to practice just weeks out from the Grand Slam.

Originally they were all going to be allowed out to train for five hours a day.

However, Mr Tiley said those players won’t be permitted to leave their hotel.

“Ideally it is not what we have wanted. We know there was always going to be significant risk,” Mr Tiley said.

“This decision has been made and now we have to manage an environment over the next 14 days for those players who unfortunately are not going to have the same conditions of those who are able to get out and practice,” he said.

It’s the third positive case found across two charter flights of officials, coaches and players arriving in Australia.

Mr Tiley reaffirmed all passengers were required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 result 72 hours before boarding the the flight.

He said players would be provided with equipment and scheduling of games would be reviewed.

“There is a difficulty because there are events leading in and those players to be ready to play those events it is going to be extremely difficult,” he said.

READ MORE: Victoria accused of ‘double standards’ over Australian Open

“We need to what we can do as best as we can for those players by providing exercise equipment in their rooms.

“We will do that over the course of today and then keep monitoring the situation.”

Tennis players and their support teams are seen disembarking Flight EY460 carrying tennis players and their support teams participating at the Australian Open at Melbourne Jet Base adjoining the Melbourne International airport on January 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia

While there had been rumours online of a positive coronavirus test from a passenger on another Australian Open charter flight into Adelaide, authorities said it isn’t the case.

“SA Health has confirmed that there is no one who has an active COVID-19 infection in the entire tennis cohort based in Adelaide,” the Australian Open said on Twitter.

“Testing will continue on a daily basis.”

https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1350422089778360321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Earlier on Saturday, a flight from the US with 24 players on-board had two people test positive to COVID-19 after arrival into Melbourne.

Neither were players and both had tested negative in their pre-departure tests.

A spokesperson for COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria said all remaining 63 passengers on that flight from Abu Dhabi must also undertake a strict two weeks in quarantine – including 23 players.

“Players are being supported to access equipment for their hotel rooms to help them maintain their fitness during this time,” a statement said.

https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1350372902378487812

“There are no other known positive tests from this flight, but routine testing will continue for passengers.

“Before any person can exit quarantine after 14 days, they must be first medically cleared by public health experts.”

In an email to players, health authorities assured them they are doing everything they can to “mitigate the impact” of being forced to spend 14 days in a hotel room prior to a tournament.

“We are aware of the major impact this has on your preparation for the Australian summer,” the email said.

“And are going to do everything we can to mitigate this impact. Our entire team is mobilised and here to support you.

“We will do everything that we can to get you through this.”