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Sydney, India vs Australia Test: Wearing masks mandatory for spectators

Spectators attending the third Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting Thursday will have to wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking, the New South Wales (NSW) government announced on Wednesday.

"From the moment effectively you get into the transport to get there, and get into the queue at the front door of the SCG, and go to your seat, and sit in the your seat, you must wear a mask," said NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said, according to cricket.com.au.

"The only exception to that, if you're eating or drinking. Obviously, Dr [Kerry] Chant and the public health team want people to enjoy a day at the cricket, but it's a Covid day and that means mask on, not mask off, unless you're eating or drinking," Hazzard said.

While wearing masks was only recommended for the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne, it is now mandatory for those attending the Sydney Test.

Earlier, those who had sat in Zone Five of the Great Southern Stand of the Melbourne Cricket Ground between 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm on December 27 during the second Test were banned from attending the SCG Test, and faced an AUD 1,000 fine if they did. This came after a man who sat in that zone on that day ended up testing positive for Covid-19.

"You may think you won't get caught. I can assure you that there has been plenty of evidences already of citizens, residents, willing to speak up and tell us when someone is doing the wrong thing," Hazzard said.