The Australian Open start date will be pushed back a few weeks to begin on February 8, according to The Age.
Tournament boss Craig Tiley outlined strict new guidelines set out by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) which would allow the grand slam to go ahead.
Players will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine period and are be able to train – however must record a negative COVID-19 test on their second day of isolation.
Testing will take place in each player’s hotel room on days one, three, seven, 10 and 14, at which point they can enter the Australian Open bubble.
Players have three days to arrive in Australia between January 15-17, then quarantine will begin once the last player arrives.
A start date of February 8 will give players the best possible preparation for a grand slam according to Tiley.
“It’s taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the AO on February 8,” Tiley said in the letter.
“A February 1 start date would not have allowed any matches [health authorities rules out matches in the bubble] and also would have been unfair to players who may get infected during quarantine – as it would’ve ruled them out of the AO
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews outlined the risk that bringing in international athletes could have on reintroducing COVID-19.
“Unlike every other tennis tournament that the men’s and women’s tours will play this year, only the Australian Open is a tennis tournament in a city where it can likely be assumed that those players will bring the virus here,” he said.
“Just think about that for a moment – every other grand slam [is happening where] cases are running wild. Every other tournament – certainly those in the United States which is I think the lion’s share of the tournaments – cases are running wild.
“So we are unique in that we’ve built something that no one else has built across the nation … and on that basis, we have to safeguard that, [and] I think we can.”