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Sydney to Hobart organisers will hold crisis talks on Friday with the 2020 yacht race in doubt due to the Covid-19 outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches.
By Friday morning the cluster of cases had grown to 28, prompting Tasmania to close borders to anyone who lives or has visited the hot spot since 11 December. It is understood a number of sailors are from the area and will not be able to compete in the time-honoured race, due to start on Boxing Day.
There is less concern, for now, over the new year’s Test match between Australia and India, scheduled to start at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 7 January, although officials are monitoring the rapidly developing situation.
The NSW government earlier this month announced an easing of restrictions to crowd numbers at sporting events, and the SCG was cleared to host an 100% capacity for the third Test against India.
“We’re monitoring the situation, not panicking at all,” Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley told SEN.
However, grade cricket fixtures in Sydney have been suspended.
In a statement on Friday morning, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) said they would continue planning for the race.
“The CYCA is closely monitoring the recent NSW Health Covid-19 advisory warnings for Sydney’s northern beaches and the current Tasmanian government exclusions,” it said.
“The CYCA continues to work with NSW Health and the Tasmania Department of Health and we will put any additional measures in place to ensure that the race remains Covid safe.
“The club will have further discussions with the Tasmanian Department of Health this morning and provide an update later in the day.”
It is the latest complication for the historical race which has run for the past 75 years consecutively.
Around 100 entries were expected for this year’s event, but numbers had dropped back to 75 as travel restrictions and economic circumstances impact on participants from around the world.
Already strict Covid-19 protocols were to be in place for crews arriving in Hobart, with everyone to be screened for symptoms by Tasmanian health and biosecurity experts.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Covid-19 outbreak throws doubt on Sydney to Hobart race | Sydney to Hobart yacht race