Sydney Test rules rushed in after MCG scare

The SCG Test is going ahead despite news from Victoria that a man may have contracted coronavirus at the MCG as people from Sydney hot spots are warned to stay away from the cricket.

A “very large” police presence will patrol the gates at Moore Park on Thursday when the match between Australia and India gets under way to ensure fans from a list of affected suburbs are not able to enter the ground.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced new rules on Wednesday confirming people will face fines of $1000 if they come to the match from suburbs impacted by the Berala outbreak or if they attended day two of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Mr Hazzard also revealed anyone attending the Test must also wear a mask at all times – unless eating or drinking – including in queues and when seated in the stadium.

People who do not comply could face penalties, Mr Hazzard said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has laid down the law ahead of this week’s Test match. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

“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,” he said.

“The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking.

“Obviously, Dr (Kerry) Chant and the public health team want people to enjoy a day at the cricket, but it’s a COVID day at the cricket and that means mask on, not mask off, unless you’re eating or drinking, in which case you can have your mask off.”

Mr Hazzard also asked anyone who attended day two of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on December 27 not to come to the Sydney match after Victorian health authorities identified the MCG as a possible infection site for a new confirmed case.

“The message to anyone who may be going – or intending to attend the Test here in Sydney who was in that location on that day, you must not – you must not come to the Test,” the minister told reporters.

The Australian players pose for pictures at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. Picture: David Gray / AFPSource:AFP

“Again, the orders that will be made today, the health orders, will impose a $1000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG.”

He also confirmed two new suburbs had been added to the list of banned suburbs announced on Tuesday that included Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe North, Regents Park and Rookwood.

“We have added Wentworthville and Belmore on the basis of public health advice. If you do attend, if someone else has brought you a ticket, you may be stopped by the very large police presence. If you cannot prove you‘re living outside those areas, you’ll be exposed to a $1000 fine,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Be with us on this journey. If you love cricket, you really love cricket, on this occasion, we can’t afford to love it and end up with COVID.

A man may have contracted coronavirus at the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 27. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

“You may think you won’t get caught. I can assure you that there has been plenty of evidence already of citizens, residents, willing to speak up and tell us when someone is doing the wrong thing.

“Don’t do it. Don’t do it for yourself, don’t do it for your community. Do it for the whole of NSW and the whole of Australia, just don’t go.”

Transport for NSW acting deputy secretary for Greater Sydney Howard Collins said a network of 10,000 CCTV cameras would monitor compliance of rules demanding commuters wear masks on all public transport to and from the game.

Mr Collins urged people who could drive or carpool to the stadium to use that method and said commuters should not travel from train stations located in hot spots.

Transport for NSW’s Howard Collins urged people to drive to the game where possible. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian ShawSource:News Corp Australia

Otherwise, Transport for NSW is running extra buses and rail services to cater for 23,000 people – more than double the 10,000 attendance cap for each day of the match.

“I want to thank every single mask-wearing member of public transport for their co-operation,” he said.

“It’s been overwhelmingly positive. Those on a different planet, not understanding that mask wearing is mandatory, we’re working with the police transport command on a tasking operation.”

Originally published asNew Sydney Test rules after MCG scare

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