It’s 1 p.m. at the Australian Open on a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon in Melbourne, but nobody turns to tennis. Everyone stuck to their phones as Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that the entire state would be plunged into a sudden five-day lockdown at midnight due to the COVID-19 outbreak. All Victoria residents should stay indoors with limited exit exemptions including basic shopping and exercise, but the Australian Open would continue without crowds. More: Australian Open to continue without fans The situation is a big problem for people who have traveled from a highway to see the best tennis players in the world. People can be seen frantically scrolling through airline websites looking for flights and trying to evaluate their options with the limited information they have, Alex sits Salcedo, a Canberra resident and tennis fanatic, is at the Margaret Court Arena and immediately panics with his return flight to ACT not scheduled to leave Melbourne until Monday. “How do I get home to Canberra by midnight tonight?” He asks me, all available flights have been cut off within seconds and no train or bus will take Salcedo back to Canberra when it chimes in the morning, what happens if he doesn’t return to Canberra by midnight? Will he be stuck in Melbourne until the lockdown ends? Should he be quarantined in Canberra upon his return at a huge cost in a hotel? It is the new normal. Where governments make early decisions. The information is unclear. Plans and situations can be turned upside down. The Australian Open was an odd experience during times of COVID. The tennis arenas at Melbourne Park and the surrounding lands were sparsely populated, with a cap of 30,000 being placed on the number of fans attending daily, and fans could only attend certain areas of Melbourne Park with their ticket to help restrict the spread of people within the venue. Paint circles can be seen drawn on grassy hills to designate areas where people congregate but are still socially distant, with people walking around in masks as if it were something they had done their entire lives. Cell phones are constantly in people’s hands because they use their QR code to register at various stadiums, and as the shutdown begins at midnight, there is a debate about what happens if Novak Djokovic’s match with Taylor Fritz ends at the Road Laver Arena this time. Will the fans be kicked out of the stadium? Or will they be allowed to continue watching the match until the end? Thirty minutes before the midnight deadline until Group D, security officials stopped the match and ordered all fans to leave the stadium immediately to return home before the lockdown began. Mockery and booing as fans are forced out of the Rod Laver stadium, but there is no compromise on the government’s advice on COVID-19 – even as Djokovic fought the number 1 in the world from the brink of exclusion. In Melbourne until at least Thursday, the lockdown ends, after his Monday flight to Canberra was canceled. For many, a visit to Melbourne to attend the Australian Open has turned into an indefinite stay in the capital of Victoria, as there have always been risks in visiting the tournament during these uncertain times as the Coronavirus was able to raise its ugly head at any moment. The players, staff and fans will never be forgotten – but under circumstances we all hope it never happens again.