Premier Daniel Andrews ‘confident’ 80,000 plus fans can attend the Boxing Day Test at MCG this year

skynews– Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he wants to see the stands full at Melbourne Cricket Ground’s Boxing Day Test this year.

The Premier’s admission came as he announced there would be “very few rules” from when the state reached 90 per cent double dose vaccination, expected to be around November 24.

“I want to see 80,000 plus people at the Boxing Day Test on day one,” Mr Andrews said during a press conference on Sunday.

“That is what I want to see. And we are determined to deliver that.

“It won’t be easy, but we are very confident, very, very confident that we will be able to deliver that.”

If the Boxing Day Test is to have full capacity, it would be the biggest attendance at an event since the beginning of the pandemic.

The announcement comes with the state preparing to return to normality as it hits some of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Mr Andrews insists the event with uncapped crowds would not be allowed unless Victorians continue to come forward for a vaccination.

“Every person who is vaccinated in good time gives us more options, gives us more freedom, sees less people in hospital, less pressure on our nurses. It is for every reason the best thing to do,” he said.

“They are free, they are safe, they work, they get us open and they keep us out of hospital.”

This year’s Boxing Day Test will see Australia play England in the third Test of the Ashes, with Australia hoping to hold onto the coveted trophy for the third straight series.

Over the course of the pandemic, Victoria has seen several major sporting events moved away from Melbourne with continuous lockdowns and outbreaks.

Melbourne’s AFL and NRL teams were relocated, the AFL Grand Final has been played away from Melbourne for two years while the Boxing Day Test was played under crowd attendance restrictions last year.

Mr Andrews’ Boxing Day Test announcement has come as he revealed the state would enjoy relaxed restrictions from 6pm on Friday.

The restriction relaxation comes with the state expecting to hit the 80 per cent double dose vaccination over the weekend.

As part of the change in restrictions indoor settings including hospitality venues and gyms will be allowed to open with one person per four square metres while outdoor settings will be required to host one person per two square metres with an attendance cap of 500.

Outdoor seated and non-seated venues including zoos and stadiums will be required to adhere to the one person per two square metre limit with a cap of 5,000 people.

Masks will still be required indoors but not in outdoor settings.

All relaxed restrictions will only be available for fully vaccinated Victorians.

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