Sports

Australia to allow small groups of spectators in NRL games

Sydney, Australia, June 5 (efe-epa).- Spectators will be able to attend Australia’s National Rugby League next week onwards, although in limited numbers and only in the corporate boxes of the New South Wales stadium, the official portal of the tournament said on Friday.

After an agreement between the organizers and the NSW authorities, the restriction would be applied at a ratio of one person every four square meters and a maximum of 50 people would be allowed in one corporate box, in line with the restrictions imposed in bars and restaurants of the region.

The portal said that a venue such as Bankwest Stadium – which will host the Parramatta-Panthers local derby next Friday – has enough corporate facilities to host numerous groups of attendees, with the NRL to submit a biosecurity plan to the NSW government early next week.

Australian Rugby League Commission head Peter V’landys was quoted as saying by NRL.com that a bid for a similar crowd return in Queensland and Victoria would be put to those respective governments if spectators can be successfully managed in NSW next weekend.

“We are going to be treated the same as the pubs and clubs. We’re very pleased the government has corrected the anomaly, because this was allowed in pubs, clubs, and racecourses but not sports stadiums,” V’landys said.

National Rugby League resumed its games under strict health protocols on May 28 after more than two months of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and seeks to end the tournament on Oct 25.

Australia has continued its restrictions on movement within its eight territories and has kept its international borders closed, which has been an obstacle for the resumption of the games.

The ease in restriction of each state and territory is managed at a different pace, although the central government expects to resume complete normalcy in July.

Health authorities in Australia have confirmed 7,251 Covid-19 infections along with 102 deaths so far. EFE-EPA

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