Fans have once again questioned why up to 20,000 fans can attend the third Test at the SCG, despite NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightening restrictions in Sydney.
Last week, Berejiklian and the NSW Government came under heavy scrutiny after doubling down on their decision to allow the Sydney Test to go ahead despite a dramatic rise in the state’s Covid-19 numbers.
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But on Saturday, the premier announced further restrictions in NSW with mask-wearing set to become mandatory for a host of venues and activities in Greater Sydney from this weekend.
Speaking to reporters, Premier Berejiklian again reassured residents the cricket would be a ‘controlled and ticketed event’, despite restrictions tightening for most other industries.
“Our health officials, police and event organisers will be doing a walk-through to go over the … COVID-safe plan,” Premier Berejiklian told reports on Saturday.
“This is an example where the NSW government strategy is to keep jobs, to keep community morale and wellbeing while making sure we are COVID-safe.
“There are very stringent guidelines in that plan about making sure people stay within the zones they are required to stay in.
“It will be a very controlled and ticketed event, and the fact that people have to wear a mask when going to or from the event, public transport or otherwise, will also mitigate the risk.
“We appreciate what people might say about us continuing to hold those events, but also consider the thousands of jobs it keeps, consider the sense of normality it gives us.
“I recall some people were very upset when they heard we were continuing with the fireworks display, but … most of us felt a sense of relief there was something we could look forward to and something we could find a sense of normality through.”
But fans once again questioned how fitting thousands of fans into the SCG for the test was acceptable during Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak.
The virus doesn't discriminate, the Premier says, but 20,000 people at the SCG "staying in their zones" per the "stringent guidelines" will make everything ok...
— Brett McKay (@BMcSport) January 2, 2021
Masks to be made mandatory in some indoor settings in Sydney with $200 fines attached. Gym classes reduced to 30. SCG cricket match to go ahead with estimated "baseline" crowd of about 20,000 🤔#covidnsw #WearAMask
— greta stonehouse (@gretastonehouse) January 2, 2021
With controlled, outdoor gatherings (seated, ticketed etc) reduced to 2,000 surely this is the death knell for the SCG test? 🏏 pic.twitter.com/JJGBWo8Lr6
— Jamie Travers (@JamieTravers) January 2, 2021
— Aland (@Aland66381073) January 2, 2021
This is good news, I applaud the NSW government’s decision to require masks in public indoor settings. If the SCG test match goes ahead with spectators in attendance, the same rule should be enforced there too https://t.co/NiAbRMfpsB
— Leo Edwardsson (@LeoEdwardsson) January 2, 2021
Mask mandate, tighter restrictions announced
From midnight tonight, masks will be compulsory in certain indoor settings with enforcement via fines of $200 from Monday onwards.
The rules apply to Greater Sydney, which includes Metro, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Central Coast areas.
Masks will be required in shopping centres, public transport, indoor entertainment, places of worship, hair and beauty salons, gaming venues, and for staff at hospitality venues.
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