With the increase in coronavirus cases in Sydney, venue of the third Test between India and Australia, the NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said that they are looking over the plans to ensure that they can “strengthen all elements” for safety. The rising coronavirus cases presented a big question over the possibility of the presence of fans in the stadium for the match. However, Chant feels that a 50 percent capacity crowd is still plausible as long as people continue to wear masks. “We will be handing out masks on public transport going into the SCG, and advising people to wear masks when they are not physically at their seat. We’re looking at some of aspects of the mixing, but seated outdoor poses less risk than people perhaps gathering in households to look at the Test. We are looking over the plans as we speak to ensure that we can strengthen all elements,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Chant as saying.
Cricket Australia on Tuesday confirmed that the third Test between Australia and India will remain at the Sydney Cricket Ground as scheduled, adding that the decision was made after several days of meetings that considered the impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreak on the northern beaches of Sydney.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO, said there are biosecurity protocols and other measures in place to ensure they can complete the full schedule while “keeping the community safe.”
“That’s precisely the reason why we have our biosecurity protocols, why we have the measures in place while we’re in a bubble in Sydney and the arrangements we’re putting in place with the Queensland government. Such that we can keep the playing cohort, the broadcast crew, all safe and then move safely into Brisbane so we can complete the full schedule while ensuring we’re being responsible and keeping the community safe,” Hockley said.
“Putting on and producing a Test match is a massive endeavour. The work we’ve been doing over the course of this week is to understand how the Sydney Test can be resourced from people and broadcast crew out of NSW and then also how the Brisbane Test can be resourced by people and crew already based in Queensland. That’s enabled us to minimise the cohort that would need to move from NSW to Queensland, which makes that more logistically feasible. Between all the broadcasters and the suppliers, we’re talking more in the vicinity of 20-30 people max, whereas earlier last week we were looking at 80-100,” he added.
Hockley also said they want “as many people as possible” to be able to experience the new year’s Test. “We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the new year’s Test but to do so safely. Fifty percent is the baseline, but we’ll be working over coming days to see if we can get more,” he said.
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