After a spectator, who attended the MCG Test, has tested positive for the coronavirus, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has made masks compulsory for the third Test which will be hosted in Sydney.
Sydney has already witnessed the outbreak of the new coronavirus strain but Cricket Australia has been reluctant to not change the venue. But the strength of the audience in Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has been decreased from 50% to 25% which means 10,000 people will be allowed in a ground that can hold 48,000 after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.
Hazzard said New South Wales had no option but to impose the measure after health officials in Victoria state said a man who attended the second Test might have contracted COVID-19 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“I want to stress that Victoria announcing a new case that they don’t yet know the source of at the MCG is obviously influencing our thinking about what we should be doing to keep New South Wales safe,” Hazzard told a news conference.
“You must wear a mask,” he added. “From the moment effectively you get into the transport to get there, and get into the queue at the front door of the SCG, and go to your seat, and sit in the your seat, you must wear a mask. The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking.”
Fans might be fines in Sydney for not wearing masks:
Mask-wearing in indoor public spaces was made mandatory in Sydney for the first time on Sunday with fines of A$200 ($155) for anyone in breach of the directive.
“Again, the (health) orders that will be made today will impose a A$1,000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG,” he said.
“I know that’s a tough – it’s a tough ask, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep New South Wales residents safe.”
The Test series between the two cricketing superpowers is drawn 1-1 going into the third match with the fourth scheduled to take place from Jan. 15 in Brisbane.