Dramatic warning to BAN crowds at a major AFL match – despite ZERO Covid cases and no hint of an outbreak
- Australian Nursing Federation said AFL could become a super-spreader event
- Urged Premier Mark McGowan to ban crowds, or reduce capacity limits
- Western Australia has closed borders with Queensland, NSW and Victoria
A nursing union has urged the Western Australian government to ban crowds at a major AFL match, despite not a single local Covid case in the state.
The Australian Nursing Federation called on Premier Mark McGowan to slash spectators at the upcoming clash between St Kilda and the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium.
It warned such events could become a super-spreader event if a secret case was lurking in the community, despite state borders being closed.
Federation secretary Mark Olsen said the union watched the Covid outbreaks unfold in New South Wales and Victoria with ‘great concern’.
Pictured: Griffin Logue of the Dockers contests for a mark during the round 18 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on July 15 in Perth. Australian Nursing Federation has urged the government to slash the crowds
Pictured: Crowds were not permitted to attend the 2021 AFL Round 15 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on June 27
Sydneysiders are entering their fourth week of lockdown with 105 new cases announced on Sunday, while contact tracers in Melbourne are grappling with 17 new cases after infected removalists entered the state last week.
‘I’m calling upon the government to take the cautious approach, the sensible approach, and cancel crowds altogether,’ Mr Olsen said, according to The West Australian.
‘Or at the very least, reduce them substantially.’
While Western Australia has not recorded any Covid cases in weeks and has closed borders with three infected states, Mr Olsen argued an outbreak of the Indian Delta strain in the state would cripple the health care system.
Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) rejected the union’s plea and said there are no plans to reduce capacity limits at Optus stadium
He also expressed his surprise that there were no spectator caps announced for Optus Stadium, given the country’s recent outbreaks.
‘I’m saying to the Government be very cautious, do not allow 60,000 people to gather at the Optus Stadium next week or the week after. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have any crowds there at all,’ he said.
‘I just think it’s inconsistent with a cautious approach of how we manage the current Delta outbreak around the country.’
Mr Olsen said Covid could be ‘lurking’ within the community.
Pictured: A healthcare worker takes a swab from a patient at a drive-through testing station in Perth on June 29. Mr McGowan said the state is back to functioning at fill capacity
But the premier rejected the union’s plea and said there are no plans to reduce capacity limits at Optus stadium.
‘We are one of the freest societies in Australia, we have all our businesses back, we have all our functions, events, hospitality, tourism – all those industries are back to functioning as normal, and we’re allowing for crowds at major events in the stadium,’ he said.
‘I don’t think we need to be frightened at this point in time. We have a hard border with New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.’
Mr McGowan also explained that authorities would review the rules if Covid cases emerge.