Australian sports venues to allow crowds of 10,000 from July

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Cut out pictures of the fans are seen during the round four NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on June 04, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given approval for crowds of up to 10,000 people to be allowed into sports stadiums from next month.

Morrison gave the green light on Friday when he announced a calibration of his cabinet’s third stage of easing rules, which will be in place nationwide in July. The current 100-person cap on indoor venues will be scrapped, clearing the way for more people to attend sporting events and gatherings.

Morrison said it would only apply to stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 or under, ruling out the likes of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Adelaide Oval until further notice. All fans must be ticketed and seated with social distancing rules in place, and attendance will be limited to 25 per cent of the venue’s capacity.

According to Morrison, all states and territories in Australia are on track to complete the move to the new rules by next month.

The NRL and AFL have already resumed their seasons with games played behind closed doors but have been permitted to allow small groups of fans to attend venues in stadium corporate facilities.

This weekend will see the return of significant sports attendances in New Zealand since March as the first games of the planned Super Rugby Aotearoa get underway.

Following the government announcement that the Covid-19 warning had dropped to alert level 1, allowing mass gatherings to take place, a crowd of up to 35,000 is expected to attend Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday when the Blues host the Hurricanes.