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Face masks compulsory for crowd at SCG Test as COVID-19 fears rise

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
Modified 06 Jan 2021, 10:18 IST

Everyone attending the SCG Test between India and Australia starting Thursday must wear a face mask, except when eating and drinking, as per a New South Wales government directive.

The move comes after the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) confirmed that a fan who attended the Boxing Day Test on Day 2 has tested positive for COVID-19.

The authorities, however, clarified that the spectator was not infected with the virus at the time of attending the match but tested positive afterwards.

Earlier, the NSW government capped the crowd capacity for the Sydney Test at 10,000 per day (25 percent capacity).

While residents of many Sydney suburbs have been banned from attending the contest, NSW Health officials urged spectators to shun public transport and use private vehicles if attending the SCG Test.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard was quoted as saying in a Fox Cricket report:

“We want people to enjoy a day at the cricket, but it’s a COVID day at the cricket. That means mask on – not mask off, unless you’re eating or drinking.

Hazzard further requested:

“From the moment effectively you get in the transport to get there, and get in the queue at the front door of the SCG and go to your seat, and sit in your seat, you must wear a mask.”

SCG Test under the scanner after MCG fan tests COVID-19 positive

With the spectator testing positive for coronavirus, the MCG has been marked as a potential site of transmission. Hence, extra precautions are being taken for the SCG Test starting Thursday.

Releasing an official statement ahead of the SCG Test, MCC said:

"The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is recommending those who were seated in Zone 5, located in The Great Southern Stand, on Sunday, December 27, 2020, between 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm to get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result."

India and Australia will head into SCG Test starting January 7 under rather chaotic circumstances.

Apart from COVID-19 concerns, Team India are also battling allegations of alleged bio-bubble breach by five of their players in Melbourne.

Some media reports have also claimed that India are not keen to play in Brisbane over hard quarantine rules, although the BCCI is yet to make an official statement over the same.

Published 06 Jan 2021, 10:18 IST
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