‘Double standard’: COVID ‘guinea pigs’ in grand final trial run

 

 

Two hundred COVID guinea pigs will be packed together at tonight's Collingwood and Port Adelaide game for an AFL Grand Final road test the Opposition has dubbed a "staggering double standard".

The Gabba and Lions members have been offered free tickets to the first 200 volunteers who will be seated next to each other with face masks and hand sanitiser and surveyed afterwards about whether they felt safe.

The trial of "greater density" seating comes ahead of October's grand final, when 30,000 will be allowed into the stadium in what will be the largest crowd since the COVID pandemic began.

Fans at the round 17 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba earlier this month Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Fans at the round 17 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba earlier this month Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

But tonight's trial also comes while people are still banned from having more than 10 people in their homes, leading to claims from Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington that the government was manipulating coronavirus for political gain.

 

 

"Participants in the trial will be provided with FREE entry to the match and face masks for use during and after the game, and will be seated close together including in seats next to other guests," the letter to members says.

"Participants will be surveyed after the game to gain insights relating to their attendance as well as their feelings on safety during their experience."

Volunteers will be able to pull out should they not feel comfortable during the game.

The Gabba will host the AFL Grand Final next month. Picture: Lee Carseldine and Droneit Group
The Gabba will host the AFL Grand Final next month. Picture: Lee Carseldine and Droneit Group

A Queensland Health spokeswoman didn't answer questions around how the insight research would impact grand final seating.

She said the trail was about testing proposed safety principles "to make sure The Gabba is as safe as possible for the AFL Grand Final".

Ms Frecklington said 200 Queenslanders were being used as "Gabba guinea pigs".

"If Queenslanders were ever in any doubt about the lengths Annastacia Palaszczuk is going to manipulate coronavirus for political gain, this has put it to bed," she said.

"It is staggering double standards when people can't have more than 10 people in their home but Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to trial jamming people into a footy stadium.

"This shows Labor is more interested in AFL footy stars than the health of everyday Queenslanders."

Originally published as 'Double standard': COVID 'guinea pigs' in grand final trial run



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