State Government should further reduce COVID-19 restrictions to allow fans to attend AFL Showdown: SA-BEST

6 June 2020

The State Government should further reduce COVID-19 restrictions to allow up to 10,000 fans to attend next weekend’s AFL Showdown at Adelaide Oval, SA-BEST believes. 

SA-BEST MLC and Sport and Recreation spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, says the decision by the State Co-Ordinator to issue a special exemption to allow a public protest to occur today – which is expected to attract several thousand people – paves the way for a limited amount of fans to attend the game between the Adelaide Crows and Port Power. 

Frank has written the Premier Steven Marshall, State Co-Ordinator and SAPOL Commissioner, Grant Stevens, and SA’s Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, making the request. 

“It’s time to bite the bullet and make decisions to further reduce restrictions to allow greater gatherings in public places than currently exist and allowing greater numbers of people to attend particular events, including weddings, funerals and sporting events,” Frank said. 

“With no active cases of COVID-19 in South Australia and community transmission of the virus virtually eliminated in this state, it is the appropriate time to further reduce current restrictions,” he said.

“The State Co-Ordinator set the precedence yesterday by agreeing to a special exemption to allow today’s public protest to occur. 

“I have written to Premier Marshall, Mr Stevens and Professor Spurrier requesting they extend that special exemption to allow spectators – in a limited capacity – to attend the Showdown. 

“I have also asked them to consider allowing a limited number of spectators attend other sporting events – like SANFL and local amateur football matches – when they resume. 

“Other states and countries are moving in this direction with New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinta Ardern, considering allowing sports fans back into stadiums from next week. 

“And the New South Wales Government has today confirmed NRL clubs will be allowed to cater for up to 50 fans in each corporate boxes from Thursday – we could happen at Adelaide Oval too.” 

Frank said it was imperative certain conditions were implemented to allow fans to attend the Showdown, however, that would provide the government and the organisations concerned with an opportunity to trial putting systems in place once restrictions are fully lifted. 

That could include spectators being controlled on entry and exiting the ground. 

Limiting the number to 10,000 fans would also enable effective social distancing given the capacity of the ground. 

Adequate public transport could be arranged to enable spectators to attend, along with the parklands around Adelaide Oval to be opened to enable fans to park their cars in close proximity to the ground. 

Frank said people travelling by public transport would be encouraged to wear surgical masks. 

“If given the green light, I recommend the respective clubs run a lottery to select members who can attend the game,” Frank said. 

“Those members lucky enough to be selected will not be able to transfer their tickets and the clubs will also then be able to have a register of attendees if tracing was ever required,” he said. 

“It may well be the only AFL game any of us get to see at the Adelaide Oval this year, so what a highlight it would be for the lucky 10,000 fans.”

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