Major sporting events in Sydney will soon be played in front of crowds of up to 40,000 after the New South Wales government announced a loosening of restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus.
In good news for Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) as it approaches the climax of its season, as well as the Rugby Championship, larger venues will now be able to open to 50 per cent of capacity instead of 25 per cent.
From October 1, Stadium Australia, the arena built for the 2000 Olympics, will be able to welcome 40,000 fans, the new Western Sydney Stadium in Parramatta 15,000 and the Sydney Cricket Ground 23,000.
"Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, however it is no secret we're also focused on firing up the economy," state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
"Safely allowing more fans at in-demand major sporting events will bring enjoyment, employment and help stimulate the NSW economy."
New South Wales has been relatively successful in containing the virus with an average of around five new cases a day over the last couple of weeks, mostly arrivals from overseas or from known clusters around the state.
Fans will have to wear facemasks going into the stadiums but will be able to take them off inside, where they will be seated in "chequerboard" arrangements to allow physical distancing, the NSW government said.
The NRL, which has two more rounds of the regular season to complete before the playoffs, will almost certainly hold its Grand Final at Stadium Australia on October. 25. บาคาร่า sa
Dates and venues for rugby union's Rugby Championship, which features Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina, have yet to be fixed after the decision to stage it mostly in New South Wales in November and December was made last week.
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