Participants for the upcoming 2021 Australian Open are expressing their frustration after being required to stay isolated in their hotel rooms to undergo quarantine for the next two weeks. Despite the fact that this is standard procedure for most travellers during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, tennis players are unhappy that they are not able to move freely after four people on the chartered flights they arrived in have tested positive.

Some players have gone as far as to claim that the tournament organisers have not made it clear to them that they will be subjected to such restrictions. However, Australian Open organisers have insisted that all the rules were communicated clearly to the participants beforehand.

The event is scheduled to start on February 8, and the players started arriving over the weekend. That gives them time to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period plus at least a week to spare before the event begins.

However, due to the positive test results, the BBC reports that 47 players are in isolation in their hotel rooms because they are considered as close contacts. That means they won't have access to training facilities.

The identities of those who tested positive have not been released but Bianca Andreescu's coach revealed that he was one of the positive cases on a flight that originated from the UAE. A crew member and a journalist are also said to have tested positive. The positive cases came from only two of the 17 chartered flights that shuttled the players to Australia from around the world. The other flight came from LA. Those who are not on the affected flights are being allowed limited hours to practise on-court.

Meanwhile, it's not just the players who are left frustrated by the situation. Many Australians who have been left stranded overseas are complaining about the special flights booked for the players. Many citizens are unable to return home due to travel restrictions and the limited number of people allowed into the country per day.

Australian Open
Empty courts at Melbourne Park: The Australian Open has been hit with a COVID-19 crisis after four people tested positive upon arrival in Australia Photo: AFP / ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE