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India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Masks Mandatory for Fans at Sydney Test

The five-day match, which starts on Thursday, will be played in front of a crowd of some 10,000 to allow social distancing in a ground that can hold 48,000 after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.

  • Reuters
  • Updated: January 6, 2021, 9:44 AM IST
India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Masks Mandatory for Fans at Sydney Test

Fans attending this week’s third Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground will have to wear masks at all times except when eating or drinking, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Wednesday.

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The five-day match, which starts on Thursday, will be played in front of a crowd of some 10,000 to allow social distancing in a ground that can hold 48,000 after an outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.

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Hazzard said New South Wales had no option but to impose the measure after health officials in Victoria state said a man who attended the second Test might have contracted COVID-19 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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“I want to stress that Victoria announcing a new case that they don’t yet know the source of at the MCG is obviously influencing our thinking about what we should be doing to keep New South Wales safe,” Hazzard told a news conference.

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“You must wear a mask,” he added. “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. The only exception to that, if you’re eating or drinking.”

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Sydney Cricket Ground had at one stage hoped to stage the Test in front of a full house before an outbreak of COVID-19 in the city led to reduction first to a half and then a quarter of the stadium’s capacity.

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Mask-wearing in indoor public spaces was made mandatory in Sydney for the first time on Sunday with fines of A$200 ($155) for anyone in breach of the directive.

Residents from certain parts of Sydney deemed to have a higher virus-risk have been banned from attending, with two more suburbs added on Wednesday.

“Again, the (health) orders that will be made today will impose a A$1,000 fine on any person who was in that location and who seeks to come to the SCG,” he said.

“I know that’s a tough - it’s a tough ask, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep New South Wales residents safe.”

Fans from rural areas have been also banned from attending to avoid the risk of them taking the virus back to areas so far unaffected.

The Test series between the two cricketing superpowers is drawn 1-1 going into the third match with the fourth scheduled to take place from Jan. 15 in Brisbane.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 India 3765 118
3 Australia 3498 113
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking