Victorians Banned From NSW Footy Fixtures

By AAP
June 25, 2020 Updated: June 25, 2020

Footy fans from Victoria will be turned away from NSW venues as the state looks to shield itself from the alarming increase in coronavirus cases in its southern neighbour.

NRL and AFL spectators trying to enter NSW stadiums are likely to be required to show their driver’s licence to prove they’re not from Victoria, where the number of new coronavirus cases has grown by double digits every day for the past week.

The new regulations were announced on the same day the NSW government confirmed an elderly man who died in April will be added to the state’s COVID-19 death toll, raising it to 51.

The 85-year-old died at the Opal Bankstown aged care facility in Sydney on April 27, but Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant confirmed on Thursday the virus was found to have been a contributing factor in his demise.

The news takes the national toll to 104.

The man’s death was associated with a small outbreak that involved three staff and three patients, Chant said. 

“The clinical treating doctor diagnosed COVID as contributing and in accordance with the national guidelines, we’ve included that as a death,” she said. 

State Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed NSW had recorded four new cases up to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, as he flagged the crackdown on Victorian visitors being allowed access to NSW’s footy fixtures.

“We’re quite satisfied they (the NRL and AFL) can make sure that supporters from Melbourne and Victoria are not coming to our games,” he said.

“Anybody who’s coming in … they’ve satisfied me they’ve made all necessary measures and steps to ensure people who will be entering the stadium will be people who are from Sydney.”

The NRL later suggested driver’s licence checks would likely be required to access stadiums and the AFL was expected to follow suit.

Stadiums with a capacity under 40,000 will be allowed to host up to 10,000 NRL and AFL fans from July 1. 

The state’s four new coronavirus cases included a seven-year-old from Lane Cove West Public School, who developed symptoms on Saturday. 

The school was closed for deep cleaning on Thursday although the student reportedly did not attend during the week. 

NSW Education on Thursday evening said the school had been “thoroughly cleaned” and will resume operations on Friday.

The three other cases involved travellers in quarantine. 

Laguna Street Public School in southern Sydney also re-opened on Thursday after a teacher became infected with COVID-19.

NSW Education on June 13 revealed the school would stop on-site learning until Wednesday following the positive test result.

Hazzard said the new cases took NSW’s total to 3162 since the pandemic began in January.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said with Victoria’s situation in mind, it was crucial for her government to strike the right balance between easing restrictions and preventing community transmission. 

“The risk will increase because we are easing further restrictions but we also can’t sit still,” Berejiklian said on Thursday. 

“We can’t allow the economy to continue to decline because then, we will have so many people out of work that it won’t be a position from which we can get ourselves out of.”

By Gus McCubbing