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Australia vs India, 2020-21 – Sydney Covid-19 spike raises SCG Test crowd doubts

Australia vs India, 2020-21 - Sydney Covid-19 spike raises SCG

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive, and New South Wales health officials have insisted the SCG Test will be able to go ahead and be followed by the travel of teams, officials and broadcasters to Queensland for the final Test at the Gabba even as the current Covid-19 outbreaks in Sydney continue to spread and place question marks over the possibility of crowds.

CA announced its decision to maintain the original schedule late on Tuesday, and Hockley spoke on Wednesday morning about two hours before New South Wales Health revealed 18 new cases had been detected in the previous 24 hours, an increase on recent days, and with a much wider spread of locations than previously.

The NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, stated that a 50% capacity crowd was still plausible so long as masks were worn. “We will be handing out masks on public transport going into the SCG, and advising people to wear masks when they are not physically at their seat,” she said.

“We’re looking at some of aspects of the mixing, but seated outdoor poses less risk than people perhaps gathering in households to look at the Test. We are looking over the plans as we speak to ensure that we can strengthen all elements.”

The NSW government also announced significant tightening of restrictions on activities allowed in greater Sydney for New Year’s Eve, but Hockley said that even in the event of case numbers rising further, the agreements cut with NSW, Queensland, the India team and broadcasters would be robust enough to ensure the series is completed as originally planned.

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