Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles makes bold claim about NRL grand final

Jasper BruceNCA NewsWire
Steven Miles praised grand final spectators for complying with mask rules. Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire
Camera IconSteven Miles praised grand final spectators for complying with mask rules. Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire Credit: News Corp Australia

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles has rejected suggestions patrons disregarded the face-mask rules implemented for Sunday night’s NRL grand final between South Sydney and Penrith.

As southeast Queensland scrambled to contain a Covid-19 outbreak in the lead-up to the decider, the Palaszczuk Government reduced the capacity of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium to 75 per cent for the game.

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Spectators were required to wear masks at all times unless eating or drinking, but vision from the stadium showed not everyone complied with the rules.

“Compliance with mask wearing in and out of the stadium until people got to their seats was very high,” Miles said.

“Obviously once people sat down and had beers and food, they took them on and off.

“While they were moving around they were by and large wearing their masks and that’s when the risk is greatest.

“There’s a lot of ways to see downsides in all of this, but the way Brisbane and Suncorp hosted the game, there are lots of good things to take out of yesterday.”

The outbreak in southeast Queensland threatened to derail the 2021 grand final – in the days leading up to Penrith’s win over South Sydney, Palaszczuk said she would not rule out pulling the pin on the game at the last minute if case numbers were to surge.

The rugby league community held its breath as postponement, relocation and banning live spectators were all floated as options.

Fortunately, the Sunshine State recorded only two instances of community transmission on both the Friday and Saturday beforehand, paving the way for the biggest game of the year to go ahead in Queensland for the first time in a unified premiership.

The state may not be out of the woods just yet, though – Queensland recorded one local case on Monday, a double-vaxxed woman in her 50s who had been infectious in the community for 10 days.

“At this stage, there are no close links that we’ve been able to identify; she hasn’t been to any known exposure sites,” chief health officer Jeannette Young said.

“All of the exposure sites that she’s been at while infectious are up on our website, and we will continue to work with her to make sure that we’ve picked all of those up.”

Originally published as Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles makes bold claim about NRL grand final

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