Prime Minister Scott Morrison has opened the possibility of live crowds at football and other sporting events by July.
As part of new guidelines announced by the Prime Minister following a meeting of the National Cabinet on Friday, fans could potentially begin to return to sporting events in stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 or below at a maximum 25% attendance, "some time in July".
"This is not something that's happening straight away,” The Prime Minister said.
“This is something that would be happening as part of step three, where states and territories choose to move to that, and it will require a bit more work. So that's in July."
The potential for stadia with capacities greater than 40,000 hosting events while also observing the 10,000-person rule was also flagged, pending approval of the Chief Health Officer of the state or territory in which the ground resided.
Morrison announces up to 10,000 people will be able to go to the football and other stadium events under stage 3 plans #auspol— Michael Koziol (@michaelkoziol) June 12, 2020
Bars and food outlets would also be allowed to open as part of the plans, as long as social distancing measures were implemented and the rules would also be relaxed for events such as concerts and festivals.
"It would have to be a large, open area,” said the PM. “There would need to be seats at the appropriate distance. It would need to be ticketed, so people would be able to understand who was in attendance at that event.”
Whereas the NRL and AFL have already re-commenced their seasons in empty stadiums, the A-League – despite being the last major domestic competition in Australia to suspend play – has not yet given concrete dates for its plan to conclude the 2019/20 season.
A hub model in which the clubs would complete the regular season and finals series in Sydney is understood to be the preferred model for a return to play, and the earmarked host grounds of Jubilee Stadium and WIN Stadium are both well under the 40,000 limit outlined by the Federal Government.
The announcement could potentially also open the doors for National Premier League (NPL) and grassroots fixtures around the country to allow fans to attend matches as long as contract-tracing protocols were in place.