A 70-year-old Australian man has been diagnosed with Covid-19 after visiting a conference at the Albert Park Hotel.
The Hotel is situated just outside the Grand Prix venue and has not yet been reopened as all staff have been asked to self-isolate.
The man, who had returned on a trip through Egypt, Israel and Jordan, ignored self-isolation and attended a function at the Hotel over the weekend, before eventually being diagnosed with the virus by doctors on Sunday.
The scare comes after both the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the Australian Grand Prix corporation boss Andrew Westacott announced that the race will absolutely go ahead and will be open to everybody.
“We are not cancelling the Grand Prix next week, or footy the week after, now is not the time for these things,” Andrews said.
“But that time will come, and it is appropriate, just like fire, to be frank with people.”
Andrews and Westacott have both hinted that Melbourne is taking extreme measures with monitoring the virus outbreak but have felt no reason why the Australian Grand Prix should be held behind closed doors.
“When you look at 86,000 at the MCG last night – we’ve got to go around things sensibly and keep moving on through life while taking the necessary precautions,” added Westacott who was alluding to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final held in Melbourne over the weekend.
“I’m not feeling at all concerned going to mass gatherings or walking down the streets in Victoria. So I don’t think there’s a risk to the Grand Prix.
“I think if you had widespread or significant community transmission in one or more cities in the country where there was a risk to people going to public events, that’s when you should start looking at that.”
All Formula One teams have already begun unloading their equipment ahead of the start of the race weekend on Friday.