After months of the MCG sitting empty, 30,000 excited cricket fans will return to the hallowed grounds for a Boxing Day Test like no other.
After months of the MCG sitting empty, 30,000 excited cricket fans will return to the hallowed grounds for a Boxing Day Test like no other.

How Boxing Day Test will work with restrictions

Crowds will be welcomed back to the MCG today for the first time since the Women's T20 World Cup Final on March 8 for a Boxing Day Test like no other.

Up to 30,000 cricket fans will be at the 100,000-capacity ground to watch the second Test between Australia and India, in the first match before a crowd at the famous stadium in 293 days.

The Test will start at 10.30am but fans will be kept apart to ensure the entire event is COVID-safe.

Five partitioned zones will divide the stadium in an effort to better police contact tracing and social distancing measures.

Event-goers will be required to remain within their designated areas throughout the match.

Crossing between zones will be banned for individuals and groups, with each zone fitted with their own entry gate and toilets, food and drink areas and first aid services.

This year's Boxing Day Test will also be the first without Victorian cricket legend Dean Jones after he died of a stroke in Mumbai on September 24.

With temperatures of 27 and 31 degrees expected to blanket the MCG in cloud-free sunlight, fans - both at the 'G and at home - are being encouraged to don Jones' trademark splash of zinc cream to honour his memory.

Steve Smith, Captain Tim Paine and Mitchell Starc ready for the big game on Boxing Day. Picture: Alex Coppel
Steve Smith, Captain Tim Paine and Mitchell Starc ready for the big game on Boxing Day. Picture: Alex Coppel

After months of the MCG sitting empty, the number of spectators allowed inside the stadium will be capped at 30,000 for each of the five days.

Families will be allowed to sit together, but gaps in seats will be left between each booking that is made online for each day of the Test.

Every second row will also remain empty to serve as a buffer between groups.

All payments at food and drink vendors must also be by card as the MCG becomes a cashless venue for the first time.

More than 275 hand sanitising stations have also been fitted throughout the stadium and MCC security will also patrol the divided areas to ensure people adhere to social distancing directions in common areas.

No paper tickets will be sold throughout the event, so attendees must buy their tickets online before scanning them at the turnstiles.

Originally published as How Boxing Day Test will work with restrictions


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