May 9, 2021


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Crowds have been banned from entering Western Derby after the COVID-19 scare

Sunday’s NFL derby will be held in Perth in front of empty stands due to the city’s coronavirus fears.

The Optus Stadium was to be three quarters full for a marquee match between them West Coast And the Fremantle, Which comes a week after fans were banned from attending a match between the Dockers and North Melbourne at the same venue.

However, Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan announced Sunday morning that this would not be the case.

The change comes after the hotel security guard and two of his close contacts were tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“I understand that people will be disappointed and some people will be disappointed,” said McGowan.

“The decision on health advice has been taken and we have tried to get that out as quickly as possible.

“Having 45,000 people trying to reach Optus Stadium at the same time is a big risk, especially as we are still going through close relationships.”

The state government has chosen not to have another sudden shutdown, but McGowan warned that “if we need to go back into lockdown, we will.”

“This decision will be based on the latest health advice,” he told reporters.

The NFL has passed the opening seven rounds of the season with limited coronavirus-related disruptions, although the Brisbane Lions have spent several rounds in Victoria due to the lockdown in their city.

Another lockdown in Perth will affect ease of travel between states in the coming week, spilling over into the league.

The Eagles are set to face the MCG’s Hawthorn in the eighth round, while the Dockers host Brisbane at Optus Stadium.

North Melbourne returned home after his last trip to Perth, but had to wait until Wednesday for the green light to host Sunday’s match with Melbourne in Hobart.