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Vaccine Passports to be required for NSW sporting venues in 2022?

Vaccine Passports to be required for NSW sporting venues in 2022?
August 4, 2021

Fans wanting to attend major sporting events in NSW in 2022 may be required to show COVID-19 vaccine passports to enter venues.

Despite conflicting messages on whether proof of vaccination will be mandatory, Venues NSW has revealed that it will be making a proposal to the NSW Government in the coming weeks with hopes of approval ahead of sporting events.

Speaking to Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph today, Venue NSW Chairman, Tony Shepard advised “the rollout has been slow so this can’t be introduced until everyone has had a fair opportunity to be vaccinated.

“However, it’s then a case of, if you can’t be vaccinated, you can’t come.

“If you choose not to have the jab that is your civil right in a free country but the Delta strain is extremely transmissible and we need to do something to reopen our stadiums.

“The venues will say you can’t attend (its as) simple as that.

“Getting crowds back to sport is important but we can’t put fans at risk.

“It will be a tremendous incentive for people to get vaccinated.”

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) recorded a $24.7 million deficit due to the COVID-19 disrupted 2020 NRL season, which saw the league forced to play in front of empty or limited capacity stadiums.

With ARLC Chairman, Peter V’landys having noted this loss was a “financial catastrophe”, he is supportive of the decision by Venues NSW.

V’landys added “no sport can survive without crowds and COVID is not going away.

“Crowds are such a major part of our revenue along with memberships.

“Having fans at games helps merchandise sales and getting fans back to the licenced clubs on game day.

“Plus, you need the atmosphere and you need tribalism.”

Recent modelling by the Doherty Institute, referenced this week by the Federal Government, says until Australia achieves high vaccination coverage, any Coronavirus outbreaks are likely to have “rapid and uncontrolled growth, with significant morbidity and mortality and requiring regular and extended lockdowns”.

A the end of July, infectious disease clinician Professor Dale Fisher of the National University of Singapore, who Chairs the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, called for large sporting crowds to be banned while the Coronavirus pandemic continues.

The Australian born infectious disease clinician, who has been resident in Singapore since 2003, said politicians needed to stop pretending there’s “no pandemic going on” in between clusters and make some unpopular decisions, instead of bouncing between acting as if there was little threat from the disease and an “imminent catastrophe”.

Professor Fisher said governments needed to ban all large public gatherings, including sporting crowds, until the end of pandemic adding that Australian governments should mandate masks for all indoor settings outside the home, instead of constantly chopping and changing the rules.

Image: NRL action at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

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