With thousands of Australians trapped overseas waiting for flights hike, it’s absolutely absurd that professional athletes and officials from across the world would be allowed to fly into Australia for the Open.

Andy Murray has tested positive to the virus and yet he still may be let into the country, while thousands of citizens await a flight to return to Australia shores.

There are 18 Charter flights organized to fly in hundreds of athletes and officials in the coming days, with four Melbourne hotels used to quarantine people for two weeks.

Meanwhile, American tennis star Tennys Sandgren has been granted special permission to board a flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, despite testing positive to coronavirus this week.

Victoria’s coronavirus taskforce has since confirmed Sandgren has recovered from his previous COVID-19 infection and is shedding viral particles.

“Every person arriving from overseas to participate in the Australian Open is required to take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test 72 hours before departing,” a COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria spokesperson said.

“For people who have previously tested positive and have since recovered, it is common to shed viral fragments for some time – which can trigger another positive result.
Tournament organisers spent several months negotiating an arrangement that was acceptable to local and national government agencies regarding the admission of more than 1,000 tennis players and associated personnel to Australia.

Despite the special treatment for tennis stars, thousands of our own citizens are still trapped waiting to come home or can’t afford to get a flight at all.

International flights into Australia have been halved, effectively for another month, because of National Cabinet’s decision to reduce the risk of Australians contracting the mutant strain of COVID-19 out of the United Kingdom. There are still 37,000 Australians stranded overseas trying to return home.

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Ryan is Contributing Editor