The Sydney Test will have a capacity of about 10,000 per day after attendance caps were wound back to 25 per cent on Monday.
Officials had originally hoped this week's third Test between Australia and India would be allowed to have about 50 per cent capacity at the venue but Sydney's recent COVID-19 outbreak has meant restrictions needed to be tightened.
The SCG will be at 25 per cent capacity for this week’s third Test.Credit:Getty Images
"Reducing the capacity of the venue is crucial in achieving social distancing requirements, and we sincerely thank ticketholders for their patience, as we process refunds today, reconfigure the SCG seating plan to deliver these social distancing measures and go back on sale.
“Tickets will be back on sale exclusively to those who have already bought a seat at 5pm AEDT on January 4, with remaining tickets released at midday AEDT on January 5.
Acting NSW premier John Barilaro said on Monday he was confident the Test would go ahead safely.
"If you look at the SCG and over the period of COVID, it's about 20 events and about 120,000 visitors have gone through," he said.
Acting NSW premier John Barilaro on Monday.Credit:Brook Mitchell
"In our state, and our venues, like the [NRL] grand final, [State of] Origin, The Everest or other race days, the Big Bash … we have shown that we can run events in this state in a safe way that protects our citizens, protects the players, protects those that attend.
"And most importantly, doing it in a framework that is COVID-safe. NSW Health, through Kerry Chant's team, have been working with the SCG and cricket to find that framework."
Barilaro said health officials were working on all "issues" to ensure the Test was safe.
"There is now consideration that if it is wet weather, what does that look like? Will people be leaving their zones seats and congregating under the shelter? They're the things we [have] got to deal with," he said.
"What do we do about mask-wearing and maybe going up to the bar? Transport on the way in – I know transport have increased the number of options, too."
Barilaro, however, said this may not be the year for cricket fans based in regional towns to make the trip to the city.
"I know, for instance, for regional people, as the Minister for Regional NSW the New Year's Test is something which is an annual pilgrimage," he said.
"We love coming to Sydney for this purpose and a lot of the members are from regions. In normal times I would say that is fantastic but I would be saying to people today to consider what's occurring in Sydney with the infections and the restrictions.
"In regional and rural NSW right now, we're enjoying no restrictions, we got to have the summer and the Christmas we were robbed last year because of bushfires and drought, we got to have that this year.
"The risk would be that if someone from the regions comes to Sydney that they could take it back to a regional area. My advice to people would be – think about it, reconsider, maybe this year isn't the year to come to Sydney to watch the Test and that's what we'll be doing."
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