New government protocols may see the return of spectators in the state of Victoria on the condition that they are fully vaccinated by as early as late October.
It has been a difficult year for Victorian sports. As one of the worse states hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, sporting organizations have seen their games cancelled or moved a number of times over the last twelve months.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this may change though starting as early as the end of next month. The Herald reports that two sources in the Andrews government officials have told the publication that the state will implement new allowances for fully vaccinated people to be able to attend hospitality venues and major events.
While the plan has yet to be officially announced, and is according to the Herald in its last stages of finalization, Victorian officials are considering the A-League and the NBL season starts as the first sports allowed to welcome spectators.
Soccer was reportedly chosen according to the Herald due to the lower likelyhood of virus transmission in outdoor stadiums. The return of spectators would be dependent on hospitalization rates.
The Australian Medical Association and nurses federation has issues a statement that it is reckless to remove current restrictions before 80% of individuals aged 12 or over are fully vaccinated, with a two week period having passed for the effects of the second dose to take effect.
At present the Victorian government is expected to hit the 80% two dose barrier for the aged 16 and over in mid-November. According to the Guardian, just under 43% of Victorians currently have been fully vaccinated.
This AMA & nurses federation statement makes their base for reopening higher than the proposed Victorian changed and the current federal government's national plan for reopening.
There are several stages for reopening in the federal government's outline. The threshold of 80% of over age 16 being fully vaccinated allows for the national plan for reopening to begin, according to the Brisbane Times.
An earlier "low-level restrictions" phase also exists at 70% fully vaccinated, if contact tracing is adequately performed according to the Times. The late October date, similar to the earmarked start date for the A-League, could coincide with the 70% barrier in the state of Victoria if their vaccination doses continue to be administered at the current rate.
The Herald has reported that while fully vaccinated spectators would be allowed to return to A League games, according to their sources heavy limitations and caps on crowd sizes would be implemented.