Anyone planning to attend the Test cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground tomorrow (Jan 7) will now have to mask up in the stadium after Victorian Health authorities reported a man attending the Test at the MCG has now tested positive for COVID-19. The announcement was enough to see the NSW state government instigate mandatory mask-wearing at the venue for the upcoming match, while the game will still have a crowd cap of 10,000.
NSW Health authorities have also extended the ban on attending the cricket to an additional two suburbs (Belmore and Wentworthville) following further COVID outbreaks in Sydney’s west.
Residents and workers in the following suburbs will now be banned from attending the cricket:
Auburn, Birrong, Belmore, Berala, Lidcombe North, Potts Hill, Regents Park, Rookwood and Wentworthville.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says the move to add Belmore and Wentworthville to the list was prompted by the state’s four new locally acquired cases (including one whose source remains under investigation. The minister stressed people attempting to access the venue from one of the banned suburbs would face a hefty fine if caught by police.
“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 $1,000 fine,” Hazzard said.
Howard Collins CEO of Sydney Trains has also encouraged anyone travelling to the cricket via public transport to register their opal cards to assist contact tracers should a transmission event occur.
NSW records five new cases
NSW has recorded four new locally acquired COVID-19 infections including one mystery case and a fifth case in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
Of the four local cases, one is linked to the Avalon cluster, one is from Western Sydney and likely to be linked to the Berala cluster and a third case remains under investigation. The fourth case is the 18-year-old reported yesterday who had been on a camping trip and travelled to regional NSW including Orange, Nyngan and Broken Hill.
These three regional towns have been put on high alert.