SYDNEY—International tennis stars jetted into Australia last week from some of the world’s worst coronavirus scorching places. At the identical time, ordinary Australians ended up prohibited from touring among the country’s two most important cities simply because of a small outbreak in one of them.

Australia’s tough border controls have been credited with aiding the country to incorporate the coronavirus. Now, Australia’s determination to let hundreds of tennis players into the place in advance of the Australian Open, one particular of the biggest tennis tournaments in the globe, is serving up a public debate on no matter if some individuals are finding preferential procedure.

“It feels like a bit of a kick in the teeth,” reported Julie Land, 42 yrs aged, who has been making an attempt to return to Australia from the U.S. with her family members and will have to wait right until at the very least March for an accessible flight. “Cricket players, tennis entourages and celebrities seem to be to have no challenges at all accessing Australia.”

How Australia balances the requirements of athletes with anger from some members of the general public could supply classes for other world-wide athletics tournaments due to be held this yr. Japan, yet another state with a lower amount of coronavirus cases by intercontinental benchmarks, is scheduled to host the Olympics in July, after they were being postponed past calendar year.

The tournament is an economic driver for Melbourne, Australia’s second-most significant town. Last calendar year, much more than 800,000 folks attended, and organizers approximated that about $300 million was injected into the regional economic climate. Broadcasts of the event reached extra than 900 million homes globally.