Victoria has recorded zero new local cases of coronavirus and one new case in hotel quarantine after the first group of Australia Open players left hotel isolation late on Thursday evening.
It has been 23 days since Victoria last had a locally acquired case of COVID-19.
There are now 27 active cases across the state, with 15,546 tests received on Thursday.
The daily figures come after some professional tennis players complained they’d been kept in Melbourne hotel quarantine for an extra full day over a ‘technicality’ – having spent only part of their first day on Australian soil – with two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren leading the criticism.
“I just found out we’re not going to be able to leave the room until midnight tomorrow,” Sandgren said, after becoming the face of the tournament’s COVID-19 chaos when he was allowed to travel to Australia after his positive test was deemed to be “viral shedding”.
“That will put us at close to 15 days in this room. It’s also another day we can’t practise.”
French veteran Richard Gasquet, one of the first players let free to walk Melbourne’s streets, said he was largely unaffected by the two weeks of quarantine.
“It’s an incredible city, so of course we are happy,” the 34-year-old Gasquet told The Age.
“But you know we could practise five hours a day, so it was no problem.
“In France, there are no restaurants (open) at all, so very happy to be in Australia.”
Victoria will almost double its cap on international arrivals next month.
By the middle of February, the number of returned travellers Victoria accepts will rise from 1120 to 2100 people a week, still significantly below NSW’s weekly international arrivals cap of 3000.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said it was “possible” the state could take even more people if extra Australian Defence Force troops were drafted in to help police guard quarantine hotels.
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