Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
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There could be 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day after the Victorian government announced all Covid crowd restrictions would be lifted on Thursday following the state reaching its vaccination targets.
Victoria's vaccination rates for people over the age of 12 are about to reach the 90% mark. The state government had previously stated that crowds of upto 80,000 would be allowed at the MCG for the third Ashes Test on Boxing Day.
But with the vaccination rates reaching 90%, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews declared that there would be no limits on the number of people who could go to the MCG on Boxing Day.
"There are no more caps, there are no more quotients, no more rules in terms of how many people can be in different spaces," Andrews said in Melbourne on Thursday.
"Whether it's 100,000 at the MCG on Boxing Day or a smaller group standing up at the public bar of their local pub having a beer, this is the COVID normal that every Victorian has built."
People will need to be fully vaccinated in order to gain entry into the MCG for the Test match.
But Western Australia's border remains closed to NSW and Victoria and to internationals due to WA's slower vaccination rates and the Perth Test remains a work in progress. The WA government has declared its intention to host the Perth Test but conversations are still ongoing between WA Health, WA Police and Cricket Australia.
CA chief executive Nick Hockley told 3AW on Wednesday that he was confident the fifth Ashes Test was still on track to be played in Perth.
"There's still a fair amount of detail to be worked through," Hockley said. "We're doing that as the moment as a priority.
"The arrangements that will be put in place, they are very complicated, there's a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.
"We're not quite there yet in finalising all the plans but certainly making a huge amount of progress. Certainly, we're working towards it happening."