England’s Boxing Day Ashes Test at the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Australian Open will welcome capacity crowds after Victoria lifted its Covid-19 restrictions
The Australian Open tennis Grand Slam and Boxing Day cricket Test match in Melbourne will be able to welcome capacity crowds as Covid-19 restrictions ease in Victoria state, officials said on Thursday.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said from 11.59pm (12.59am GMT) on Thursday, there will no longer be any caps on gatherings in the state.
‘Whether it’s 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day or a smaller group of people standing up at the… local pub, this is the COVID-normal that every Victorian has built,’ he said at a media briefing.
The eased restrictions will be welcomed by Australia’s major sports, which have taken significant hits to revenue due to crowd caps in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city and Victoria state capital, through the pandemic.
The last Australian Open in February was limited to 30,000 people per day – about half of Melbourne Park’s usual capacity – before all fans were banned for five days due to a snap lockdown.
The Australian Open tennis Grand Slam, won by Novak Djokovic last year, can have full crowds
The Boxing Day cricket Test match in Melbourne will be able to welcome capacity crowds
Last year’s Boxing Day Test between Australia and India had crowds capped at 30,000 per day at the 100,000-seat Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The last Ashes test against England at the stadium in 2017 drew a crowd of more than 88,000 on Boxing Day alone.
Australia will face Joe Root’s England at the MCG from December 26 during the upcoming five-test Ashes series.
Victoria has progressively eased restrictions as Covid-19 vaccination rates have soared in recent weeks.
Authorities expect 90 per cent of people in the state aged over 12 will be fully vaccinated by the end of the week.
Victoria finally lifted its Covid-19 restrictions from midnight on Thursday with dancefloors back on, house parties allowed and no caps on pubgoers, Premier Daniel Andrews announced
CHANGES IN VICTORIA
No density limits in hospitality venues
No limits on visitors at a home
Weddings and funerals can go ahead without patron limits as long as guests are vaccinated
Dancefloors will be allowed
Masks will still be mandatory for primary school staff and visitors and for students in Years 3 to 6, for workers at hospitality venues, for workers and customers at indoor retail, for visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities, and for people using public transport
Covid-positive Victorians will only have to isolate for ten days instead of 14
Household contacts can isolate for seven days if vaccinated
Close contacts of a case required to receive a test and only isolate until negative