The Queensland government has confirmed that the Fourth Test will still be going ahead at the Gabba, despite recent concerns over the Brisbane lockdown.
Indian cricket officials had expressed concerns over the weekend of travelling to a city where a highly infectious strain of coronavirus had been out in the public.
The case forced Brisbane into a three day lockdown, during which no new cases of the virus were recorded.
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Queensland officials have this morning confirmed that the lockdown will be lifted tonight as planned, but there are several rules that will stay in place for at least the next ten days.
Related article: Brisbane lockdown to end, mask mandate to stay in place
It was feared the restrictions could threaten the Fourth Test between Australia and India, which is due to begin at the Gabba on January 15.
The state government has now allayed those fears, confirming the event will still go ahead, but with some changes in place.
The changes include:
- Maximum daily capacity at Gabba to be capped at 50 per cent, or approximately 18,000 spectators per day;
- Mandatory mask-wearing for game entry and exit and while moving around the stadium, including when buying food and drink;
- An allocated checkerboard seating layout for social distancing; and
- Existing tickets to be refunded by Cricket Australia and new ticketing arrangements put in place by CA to enable social distancing of spectators.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says this is good news for Queensland cricket fans.
“Like most elite events last year which saw Queensland host several sporting bubbles, COVID-19 has made preparing for Friday’s Test anything but routine.
“We’ll keep listening to the strong medical advice of the Chief Health Officer to keep Queenslanders safe and our economy strong.
“The Fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Gabba is no exception,” the Premier said.
Cricket Australia’s Interim CEO Nick Hockley says they’ve been working very closely with Queensland Health to ensure a safe event for fans, staff and players.
“Throughout the season, we have developed a strong track record for a safe and responsible return to sport thanks to our well-established biosecurity protocols, the ongoing support from public health officials and the incredible hard work of so many people across Australian cricket.
“I want to thank the Queensland Government for their cooperation and willingness to working closely with CA and the BCCI so we can deliver the fourth Test as planned, but more importantly delivering on a plan that places the safety and wellbeing of the players, match officials and the wider community as a top priority,” Mr Hockley said.