“You are right, we are not in jail. In prison, at least, you can go outside to breathe fresh air twice a day. ” Tuesday, January 19, Kazakhe Yulia Putintseva does not hide her irritation by responding to a user, during a direct on Instagram. Like her, the tennis players, who will play in the Australian Open in Melbourne from February 8 to 21, have been placed in a fortnight of compulsory hotel isolation for anyone arriving from abroad.
But while most of these sportsmen and women have obtained a rare privilege in Australia, namely the authorization to leave their rooms, five hours a day, to train, a certain number do not benefit from this exemption and must observe a total confinement: those who have been identified as contact cases after traveling on flights where other passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Yulia Putintseva is in this case. And they are currently 72 players (out of a total of 256) locked up 24 hours a day in their hotels in Melbourne, deprived of training, but no social networks where their Tweet of grievances exceed the Australians. ” There is no special treatment here. The virus does not treat anyone in a special way and therefore neither do we “, scolded, Monday, January 18, the Prime Minister of the State of Victoria, Daniel Andrews.
“Whims of spoiled children”
During the weekend of January 16 and 17, Novak Djokovic, former president of the ATP players’ council, hosted in privileged conditions in Adelaide with other stars of the circuit, was the spokesperson for the recluse , claiming, according to the Spanish site Punto de Break, shorter, less strict confinement measures or the transfer of players to private homes equipped with a tennis court.
Enough to cringe the political leaders, but especially the tens of thousands of Australians passed through these fortnight, who did not benefit from any privilege and especially had immense difficulties to return to their country of which the International borders have been closed since March 2020. Not only is the number of people accepted on the island-continent extremely low – less than 4,000 a week currently – but plane tickets are nowhere to be found and overpriced. As a result, some 37,000 Australians are still stranded abroad.
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