Fans are divided over whether the NSW Government have done enough after masks have become mandatory for cricket fans attending the SCG Test after the MCG was listed as a potential COVID-19 exposure site.
The risk involved with supporters flocking to a major sporting event was laid bare on Wednesday when the Victorian government revealed a man infected with coronavirus attended day two of the second Test.
'F**K OFF': Test legend slams ugly BBL confrontation
The SCG still has a green light to be at 25 per cent capacity on Thursday, when approximately 10,000 fans will attend the start of the third Test.
This is despite medical experts, including the Australian Medical Association, leading calls for the third Test to be played with no fans.
But NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, having debriefed with Victorian counterpart Martin Foley on several occasions during Wednesday morning, admitted the MCG case is "obviously influencing our thinking".
Masks, having previously been strongly recommended for anybody sitting in the SCG stands this week, are now mandatory for attendees.
"The only exception to that is if you're eating or drinking," Hazzard said.
"There will be fines imposed on those who don't wear a mask.
"We were trying to not impose that requirement.
"Because people are sitting there - and in some cases for many, many hours.
"The evidence that's come off this morning from the Victorian situation is such that the public health officials were of the view we need to step it up to that higher level."
The NSW government announced on Tuesday that anybody based in a COVID-19 hotspot will be fined $1000 if they attempt to attend the SCG Test.
Many fans applauded the decision and said it was a step in the right direction.
While others questioned how long masks will be on for, considering fans will be eating and drinking, and claimed the Test should still be cancelled.
Masks compulsory at SCG Test unless eating or drinking. For some of us, that’s about 1.2 overs.
— Andrew Webster (@awebster1975) January 6, 2021
@ScottMorrisonMP @GladysB I know we want to keep the economy moving but given the circumstances - stop fiddling with masks and numbers at the SCG cricket and just stop public attendance. Please! #auspol
— Richard Clement (@rtsclement) January 6, 2021
Mask wearing at the SCG Test now mandatory unless spectators are eating or drinking. Confirmed case attended the MCG for the Boxing Day Test.
Better. Will spectators be fined if they are caught not wearing masks?#nswcovid19 #COVID19nsw
— JTD (@jasontdinh) January 6, 2021
Gee, cricket fans are a privileged breed, #HapHazzard practically apologises for now requiring masks to be worn at the cricket, except when eating or drinking. Someone with balls has stood up to the BS & the SCG trust bullies & common sense has prevailed.
— 💧Elizabeth Marr (@JmarrMarr) January 6, 2021
Some suburbs banned from attending, fans asked not to arrive at the same time (?!), masks are mandatory to be worn, concern about the potential MCG case. Sheesh. The SCG Test is shrouded in scary doubt - and that’s just from the people that are FOR it going ahead!
— Ryan O'Connell (@RyanOak) January 6, 2021
I'm a cricket fanatic. Former first grader, and I think if it goes ahead, it should be empty stadium. It goes beyond the 10k there for over 8hours. They travel, use public transport etc. It's not worth it.
— BrewSC (@BrewSC22) January 6, 2021
Further suburbs banned from third Test
Wentworthville and Belmore were on Wednesday added to the do-not-attend blacklist, joining Berala and nearby suburbs.
Any person that sat in zone five of the MCG's Great Southern Stand is also now banned from attending the SCG Test.
"The orders that will be made today, the health orders, will impose a $1000 fine on any person who was in that location and seeks to come to the SCG," Hazzard said.
The Australian Medical Association led calls for the third Test to be played in front of no fans because of the risk it poses as a potential coronavirus super-spreading event.
Test skipper Tim Paine, who has the most important job in the country according to cricket tragic John Howard, was content for there to be a crowd.
"I don't have a medical background," Paine told reporters.
"We trust that the people in those positions are making the right decisions by us and the communities.
"We want to get people in the gates, give people a chance to come in and watch international cricket.
"If they're saying the safe number is 10,000 then I certainly can't question that."
Prime Minster Scott Morrison, who will watch the game on television in Canberra because of the ACT's border restrictions, said it is "great" that fans will be able to attend.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.