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Masks to be mandatory at NSW A-L games

Masks will be made mandatory for fans at A-League games in NSW, while crowd capacity is set to be reduced to 25 per cent in line with the Sydney Test cricket match.

Spectators at the SCG Test, which began on Thursday, were required to wear masks.

And NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed similar requirements would be imposed on other major sporting events – including the two A-League games scheduled in the state this week.

The Newcastle Jets will host Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night while Macarthur FC will play Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.

The Newcastle game is part of a double-header, with the Jets’ W-League team to face Sydney FC in the curtain-raiser match.

“Discussions have also taken place between NSW Public Health and the A-League and as a result, there will be some requirements being imposed in the next day or so which will mandate the use of masks also for those spectators who attend A-League and other sporting events of a similar ilk,” Hazzard said on Thursday.

“We obviously would like to have avoided that but the advice from public health is that that does add a further and very important layer in our current environment.

“So spectators can expect that when they attend the game this weekend in Newcastle that extra layer of protection will be there.

“You will have to take a mask with you and you will be required to wear it during the entire event – except of course when you’re eating or drinking.”

The A-League game in Newcastle previously had a 50 per cent maximum capacity but NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro flagged a reduction to half that.

“We are working with the A-League in relation to games, especially the upcoming game in Newcastle,” Barilaro said.

“What we have learned from what’s occurred at the MCG, what we have learned in the preparation for today’s Test at the SCG, those sort of requirements, including the 25 per cent cap, will apply to those games, and we’ll work with the A-League.”

Patrons from Western Sydney hotspots – Auburn, Birrong, Belmore, Berala, Lidcombe, Potts Hill, Regents Park, Rookwood and Wentworthville – and the Northern Zone of the Northern Beaches have been barred from both the Newcastle and Macarthur games this week, in line with the cricket.

There were set to be spot checks at the SCG Test, with $1000 fines for any patrons from blacklisted suburbs who attended.

It is unclear whether that will also occur at the A-League.

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