Cricket fans embrace first match with new COVID-19 restrictions
The first test cricket match in Sydney has begun amid strict new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with spectators seen masking up to attend the game.
Only 10,000 people will be allowed to attend the first day of the series as the NSW government scales back the stadium's capacity to just 25 per cent.
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People arriving to attend the match have so far complied with the new rules, wearing masks and having their tickets checked by authorities.
Thousands of residents across Sydney's south-west have been blacklisted from the cricket today following a spike in cases linked to the Berala BWS store.
Those suburbs include Wentworthville, Belmore, Auburn, Berala, Birrong, Lidcombe North, Potts Hill, Regents Park, Rookwood will face fines of up to $1000 if they attempt to attend the game.That includes anyone who works in or has visited the above areas.
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An additional 450 extra bus and light rail services have been added to support the crowds expected to attend but those who can are being urged to drive instead, to avoid large crowds across the network.
Despite a mostly empty stadium and tough new rules, spectators arrived looking lively and ready to enjoy a day of sport.
Groups of friends and families were photographed wearing colourful costumes, with some getting creative with their masks to embrace the spirit of the game.
Some fans were seen dressed head to toe in COVID-themed costumes, with full body suits, masks and goggles.
The state's Health Minister Brad Hazzard this morning said he was confident the government had made the right decision in allowing the game to go ahead.
"Our government is very much focused on trying to give a sense of normalcy to people but in a safe way," Mr Hazzard said.
The restrictions introduced for the Sydney Test will be now be applied to all A-league sports matches under new restrictions announced today.
"We believe that the arrangement and place at the SCG cricket is one that has reduced risk the event as much as possible," Mr Hazzard said.
"We are not going pretend that there is no risk but if people follow the rules, wear masks and make sure they socially distance, we believe that we can put on a test today that will have minimal risk."
The new restrictions mean people attending the A-league game in Newcastle this weekend will be required wear a mask at all times, crowd capacity will be recued to 25 per cent and people from blacklisted suburbs will be unable to attend.
The announcement comes as NSW records zero cases of local transmirrion to 8pm last night however a new case connected to the Avalon cluster was diagnosed this morning.
The man, living in the northern zone of the northern beaches will be included in tomorrow's official COVID-19 figures.