Spectators back at Australian Open after lockdown

Victoria State Premier Dan Andrews announced the lifting of the lockdown but said the crowds allowed into Melbourne Park for the semi-finals and finals of the Grand Slam might be reduced from the originally agreed 25,000 a day.

Tournament organizers later said they had agreed with the government to have 7,477 fans in each of Thursday's (February 18) two sessions and the same number for the singles finals sessions on Saturday (February 20) and Sunday (February 21) evenings.

Fans must wear masks where "social distancing is not possible," they added.

Fans were shut out of the precincts of Melbourne Park from last Saturday (February 13) after a small outbreak of the COVID-19 variant associated with Britain. The state reported no locally acquired coronavirus cases on Wednesday.