The Victorian State Government has announced that the COVIDSafe Event Plan for the 2022 Australian Open is to be amended to ensure the health and safety of fans attending Melbourne Park.
From Monday, ticket sales will be paused at 50% of capacity, where a session has not already sold to that level, while it has also been assured that any tickets purchased to date remain valid and no tickets will be cancelled or changed.
Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Jaala Pulford, commented: “These updates to arrangements for the Australian Open will mean that fans, players and the workforce can look forward to a terrific COVIDsafe event in Australia’s event capital.”
“Melbourne Park is the best place on the planet to watch the tennis and thousands of spectators will be able to experience the iconic Australian Open from Monday.”
Furthermore, the announcement also states that masks will be mandatory for all patrons, except when eating or drinking, and the event will align with Victoria’s statewide COVIDSafe settings.
This includes a density limit of one person per two square metres for all indoor hospitality, and also sees an improvement in ventilation in indoor areas of Melbourne Park, with HEPA filters to be installed in some spaces following a ventilation assessment.
Additionally, due to the increase in COVID-19 hospitalisations in the country and cases continuing to rise in Victoria, these mitigation strategies have been regarded as ‘proportionate’.
With the 2020 tournament having attracted 812,714 spectators and injected $387.7 million into the state’s economy, the new limitations are being designed to limit the spread of the virus.
In further AO news, the Labor Government is making sure tennis fans get fair-price tickets, with the Major Events Act making it illegal to sell, or advertise for sale, a ticket to a declared event for more than 10% above the face value of the ticket.
The competition commences on 17 January and wraps up with the Men’s Final on 30 January.