Several sporting events in Australia will proceed behind closed doors, with other public events being canceled as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released on Friday, the National Rugby League said that the first round of the Premiership “will proceed but the second round will be played behind closed doors,” in accordance with the advice from Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier today to cancel public gatherings of more than 500 people.
The Australian Football League released a similar statement today, announcing that from March 14 onwards, “matches will only host players, coaches essential club officials, umpires, AFL officials, broadcast teams, media and required venue staff with no supports permitted to attend.”
The Sydney Royal Easter Show, a large annual agricultural show that boasts an amusement park, was also canceled on Friday due to “increased public concern” and “to protect the health of stakeholders and visitors.”
The last time the Royal Easter Show was canceled was in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic, according to the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales.
Cases and deaths: As of today, there were 156 cases of the novel coronavirus in Australia, according to the Department of Health — more than double the number from last week. The death toll remains at three.