Given the unfolding COVID-19 scenario, Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley acknowledged the heightened levels of procedures to be implemented from the Boxing Day Test onwards, saying the level had been elevated from three to four. After coming into touch with a COVID-positive person while dining out, Australian skipper Pat Cummins was forced to miss the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. “We’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to level 4 for Boxing Day,” Hockley said on SEN Breakfast on Tuesday.

Different states of Australia are dealing with COVID-19 in different ways. The first Ashes Test was held in Brisbane (Queensland), which was COVID-free at the time, before moving to Adelaide (South Australia), which was also free of the virus. However, in light of the situation in Victoria and New South Wales, where thousands of COVID-19 cases are reported every day, the protocol level has been upgraded.

“Even before the Pat (Cummins) scenario, we had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment,” Hockley said. “Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide, and that was owing to the amount of cases in the community.”

“The key difference (between Levels 3 and 4) is that we encourage users to stay away from large, busy indoor public spaces. They are still free to go out, to the beach, and to the park. They are free to go out for supper, but we suggest that they eat outside and in small groups so that if another hotspot emerges, the entire party is not stranded. So we’re attempting to strike a compromise between ensuring that everyone has a good quality of life while also ensuring that the series continues “Hockley added