AFL, NBL games to have no spectators
Fans will be unable to attend the NBL grand final series, including tonight’s match between the Perth Wildcats and Sydney Kings, or AFL games after both sporting codes responded to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement that mass gatherings of 500 plus people should not proceed.
It follows this morning’s cancellation of the Formula 1 season-opening grand prix in Melbourne.
The NBA said the decision to play remaining grand final games behind closed doors was to prevent the spreading of COVID-19.
“Our fans have helped us get to this stage of the season,” he said.
“It’s a terrible shame that, in our biggest game of the year, they can’t be there to support us.
“However, the health and safety of our members, fans and the wider Western Australian community, as well as our players, coaches and staff, will always be our priority.”
Late on Friday afternoon, the AFL announced that AFLW and AFL games would proceed as scheduled but with no spectators.
Cricket Australia has already banned spectators from Australia’s one-day series against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, this weekend’s F1 race was cancelled today after a McLaren Racing Team member became infected with COVID-19.
Thousands of F1 fans already arrived in Melbourne for the races will be refunded.
In the business sector, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association announced on Friday that its conference and exhibition scheduled for Perth in May has been postponed.
"Due to events involving the spread of the virus both domestically and overseas, we find ourselves in a situation whereby we are simply unable to proceed with the conference as scheduled," APPEA said in a statement.
"Whilst it may be necessary for us to cancel the event at some point, we are hopeful that this will not eventuate."
Other postponed Perth events include the Global Iron Ore and Steel Conference in Perth, which has been rescheduled from next week to December.
Shopping Centre Council of Australia said the prime minister's advice would not apply to shopping centres, "as they are considered essential to the community".
Chairman Peter Allen said shopping centres provided an essential service to local communities, such as for food and groceries, pharmacies and medical clinics.
The announcements come as the prime minister escalated Australia's travel advice to level three and advised against non-essential organised gatherings of 500 persons or more, effective Monday.
"Clearly the coronavirus requires a response from all governments," Mr Morrison said at a Council of Australian Governments meeting today.
"We now advise all Australians to reconsider your need to travel overseas at this time, regardless of your destination, age or health.
"Only essential travel should be considered if you are going overseas from this point forward."
Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy added people should go about their daily work but avoid "particular circumstances where transmissions can be accelerated".
"The risk to the Australian community in general still remains low," he said.