Cricket fans from hot spots face $1000 fines for attending Test

Cricket fans who live in a coronavirus hotspot in Sydney’s southwest face a $1000 fine if they step foot inside the Sydney Cricket Ground this week, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has announced.

Mr Hazzard revealed new Public Health Orders would be finalised in the next 24 hours banning residents in and around Berala from attending the Test between Australia and India, which begins on Thursday.

He said the SCG Trust had asked people from Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe North, Regents Park and Rookwood not to come to the inner city stadium, and that request would be “backed in” by the NSW Government.

“If an officer stops you and you happen to be at the SCG, then you will find yourself receiving a $1000 fine,” Mr Hazzard said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has issued a stern warning to fans from the Berala area. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

Attendance for the third Test of the Summer has been capped at 25 per cent of the SCG’s capacity – or about 10,000 people per day.

NSW recorded another four locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, with two traced to the Berala cluster.

Another additional case detected after 8pm is linked to the outbreak that emerged from a BWS shop, which now stands at 15.

Mr Hazzard said the New Year’s Test was part of NSW’s “tradition and part of our history” and the state was proud to host it, but that community safety came first.

“It’s also crucial as the SCG has identified, working with NSW Health, that people from certain suburbs in that Berala area do not attend this test,” he said.

“You must not attend this test. Now, ticket sales have gone in a way that is aimed at ensuring that people from particular suburbs around Berala do not acquire tickets and do not come to the test. That’s for your sake and for our community’s sake.

The Indian team during a net session at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“But, I want to alert the community in those suburbs, if any of you think it’s still OK to come in with someone else who has got a ticket, or tickets, it won’t be OK.

“Because there will be orders, health orders made, in the next 24 hours, that will enable NSW police to fine you $1000 if you put foot inside the SCG.

“You must not, you must not come to the SCG. So, just be aware of that.

“If you live in Auburn, Berala, Lidcombe North, Regents Park or Rookwood, we would love you at the Test in a non-COVID year, but we can’t.”

People arrive to be tested at Auburn Community Health Care Centre on Monday. Picture: Monique HarmerSource:News Corp Australia

Acting Premier John Barilaro earlier said the 25 per cent cap could be changed depending on case numbers across Greater Sydney, with any decision to be based on health advice.

“We‘ll be making decisions and possibly changes right up to the first ball,” he said.

“We are remaining flexible and looking to the advice we received from (chief health officer) Dr Kerry Chant‘s team.”

Mr Barilaro flagged that plans were afoot to provide enough public transport to carry 50 per cent of what the stadium could hold, to ensure public safety getting to and from the match.

Acting Premier John Barilaro has encouraged regional NSW residents not to attend. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye GerardSource:News Corp Australia

“We are making sure there’s plenty of capacity for people to socially distance on public transport,” he said.

“And we’ll continue to work with the SCG to make whatever refinements we require, getting people safely to and home from the SCG.”

Mr Barilaro has also urged people from regional parts of NSW not to travel to Sydney for the match.

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