Australian Open as fans are BOOTED from the stands

Extraordinary scenes at the Australian Open as fans are BOOTED from the stands in the middle of Novak Djokovic’s evenly-poised match as snap Covid lockdown comes into force

Australian Open fans were extraordinarily booted from the stands in the middle of Novak Djokovic’s tense match after Covid lockdown rules came into play.

Midway through the fourth set of the Serbian’s third round encounter with Taylor Fritz, fans in the stadium were told to leave to comply with the Melbourne lockdown coming into force at 11.59pm local time.

Spectators had been able to attend matches for the Grand Slam tournament but a five-day lockdown was announced on Thursday to try and stop the spread of the rampant UK variant of coronavirus in the state of Victoria.

Australian Open fans were extraordinarily booted from the stands during a match

Spectators were forced to leave the stadium to comply with Melbourne snap lockdown

The remainder of match between Novak Djokovic and Taylor Fritz was played in empty stadium

It was initially thought that fans at the event on Friday would be exempt from the restrictions but they were informed by the umpire at 11.30pm that they must leave in order to be home by the curfew.  

The virus, which originated at a hotel in outer Melbourne earlier this week, is ‘moving at a velocity that hasn’t been seen before,’ said State Premier Dan Andrews.

It is hoped the five day shutdown for all Victorian residents which begins at midnight on Friday night will be a ‘circuit breaker to ensure we do not have a third wave,’ Premier Andrews said. ‘If we wait to be absolutely certain we have the problem it will be too late.’ 

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