On December 29, Cricket Australia announced the third Test between India and Australia would go ahead on January 7 at the SCG. The decision was made prior to the COVID outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The Test was cleared to proceed after stringent guidelines were put in place by NSW Health, including a maximum of 50% capacity.
On Wednesday, the stadium’s attendance capacity dropped again, this time down to 25% — roughly 10,000 people — after a spectator from the Boxing Day Test at the MCG tested positive for COVID.
In addition to reduced numbers, ticket holders from certain hotspot suburbs are banned from attending entirely and all attendees are expected to wear a mask at all times.
Mardi Gras Parade 2021 Relocated
Last November, it was confirmed that the 2021 Mardi Gras parade would be relocated from Oxford Street — where it’s been hosted annually since 1978 — to the SCG.
[ IMAGE: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2012 ]
The recent outbreak restrictions have left many in the community wondering whether the event will go ahead and what it will look like if it does.
Parade Scheduled For March 6
A representative from Sydney Mardi Gras told Star Observer that the parade is still scheduled to go ahead on Saturday, March 6.
The SCG’s General Manager for Communications, Philip Heads, said the venue has proven itself reliable and safe throughout the pandemic.
“As always, we’ll comply with the guidelines set in place by NSW Government. Our job is always to ensure the safety of all patrons and participants.
“The SCG has hosted more than 20 events and 160,000 spectators during the COVID period with a NSW Health-approved plan that is scalable from 25-100% capacity.”
[ IMAGE: The SCG’s outdoor stands ]
Virus Is Unpredictable
But health experts still aren’t ready to make a call about whether the event is risk free.
Epidemiologist from the University of Sydney, Dr Alexandra Martiniuk, said the virus is too unpredictable to be sure of anything at this stage.
“Even though the SCG is outside and with reduced numbers, the concern right now is that there are mystery cases… it’s like not knowing how big the iceberg is underneath.
“But, if we can keep cases low and testing high we could be in a very different situation by early March.”
New South Wales reported 0 new cases outside of hotel quarantine on Thursday.