WIN Stadium will need to finalise its COVID-safe plan before restrictions on crowd capacity are lifted in line with major Sydney stadiums.
On Thursday NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that coronavirus rules would be relaxed to allow select major venues to increase crowd capacity from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.
The changes, from October 1, will see crowds of up to 15,000 allowed at Bankwest Stadium; up to 40,000 at Stadium Australia and 23,000 at the SCG.
"The health advice now says that major stadia in NSW are able to go to 50 per cent capacity, rather than 25 per cent," Ms Berejiklian said.
"I do want to stress there's a number of caveats in that - the four square metre rule in principle still applies; and there will be an expectation for people to wear masks when they're going to their seats.
"Obviously once they're seated they no longer need to wear the mask, but in getting to the venue and getting out of the venue there's an expectation that everyone will be wearing a mask."
However Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres reiterated that the changes would only apply to the three Sydney venues at this stage.
Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium have already been given the go-ahead to host ticketed and seated-only events with increased crowds after supplying detailed COVID-safe plans, while NSW Health is currently reviewing plans provided by the SCG.
"NSW Health and the venue operators for Penrith Stadium, McDonald Jones stadium at Newcastle, Ken Rosewall Arena at Sydney Olympic Park and WIN Stadium at Wollongong are undertaking further work," he said.
"WIN Stadium, Newcastle Stadium and Penrith Stadium all have hills; we want to be able to make sure we work through what is the most appropriate way to open up that venue and what is the right way to have the seating configuration if we go to a larger crowd.
"That work is still undertaking. We're hopeful that we'll be able to get to those venues being able to open at larger capacities but we want to see COVID plans put in place for those particular venues."
Mr Ayres said he hoped these venues would by ready by the time the changes came into effect on October 1.
"Local Health Districts have been very important in understanding the local terrain," he said.
"We want to be able to provide as much information as we can to allow those COVID-safe plans to be put in place.
"... We won't be making decisions that put people in unnecessary risk.
"If those COVID-safe plans don't meet the standard, those venues won't be open for the NRL grand final series."
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the detailed COVID-safe plans would ensure spectators were kept as safe as possible while attending stadiums.
"There's a unique work that stadium have done in terms of a chequerboard seating pattern which means it maximises the distance between people in the seated environment," she said.
"and ensures that people are not directly behind them and that's important from the point of view of aerosol transmission or droplet transmission."
Stadiums would be split into zones to stop intermingling of different groups, there would be different entry and exit zones as well as different hospitality areas and amenities.
Ms Berejiklian said the change would help create jobs and stimulate the economy.
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