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Australian Open 2021: Minister advices players not to feed mice while in quarantine

Players who arrived for the Australia Open have been advised not to feed mice at the quarantine hotel in Melbourne after one player lament having to cohabit with rodents.

World number 28 Yulia Putintseva despite swapping rooms following the discovery of a mouse said her new room is also infested.

The 26-year-old is among more than 70 players and their entourages confined to their hotel rooms for 14 days.

Lisa Neville, Victoria state police minister,  “encouraged” players to “minimize interaction” with the mice.

“As I understand, there may have been some feeding going on,” Neville added, without giving further details.

“We will keep doing pest control if we need to, but hopefully that pest control work that was done this week will have fixed the problem.”

Neville also confirmed that a total of 10 people who have flown to Melbourne for the tournament had returned positive tests for the coronavirus, with three new cases on Wednesday comprising two players and a support person.

Putintseva used social media to post a video of a mouse in her room jumping out from behind a cupboard saying she has lost sleep because of the rodents scurrying around while also expressing frustration about being unable to open a window in her room.

“We need fresh air to breathe,” she posted on Instagram.

According to officials, a total of four players have now tested positive for the virus but there has been confusion over the figures as several test results were later reclassified by authorities as “viral shedding” from previous infections, meaning they are not contagious.

A huge controversy also sparked over quarantine rules and allowances afforded to the travelling players compared to residents as the year’s first major tennis tournament takes center stage.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said a “tightrope” was being walked, but that the safety of Victorians would not be compromised.

“I do understand the players, this is a new experience for them and I don’t think anyone expected to know what the 14 days was like and they are adapting to it,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“At the beginning, it was pretty challenging with their adaptation It’s got a lot better, I think the majority of the players understand and accept it and there is a minority struggling with it but we are going to do whatever we can to make it better for them.”

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