Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena and Borussia-Park, home of German Bundesliga football club Borussia Mönchengladbach, have become the latest venues to open up as vaccination centres in the fight against COVID-19.
Qudos Bank Arena, the largest indoor sports and entertainment venue in Australia with a capacity of 21,000, has opened its doors for vaccinations after 170 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the state of New South Wales.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging adults in the Greater Sydney area to be vaccinated against the virus, with the city currently in its fifth week of lockdown restrictions.
The Qudos Bank Arena vaccination centre will open up for year 12 students in the week commencing August 9 ahead of their return to school on August 16. After this, the arena will be used as a general mass vaccination centre.
Berejiklian added that year 12 teachers would also be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine before returning to school. “What would be more traumatic (for) students and families is to have the virus keep spreading and for the lockdown to go on for a considerable period,” she said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak has already had an impact on sporting events, with the city’s Stadium Australia having to withdraw from hosting the recent State of Origin rugby league match. The fixture was held in Newcastle instead.
Qudos Bank Arena forms part of the Sydney Olympic Park and opened ahead of the 2000 Games in the city. It also serves as the home of National Basketball League team the Sydney Kings.
Meanwhile, Borussia Mönchengladbach has announced that vaccination vehicles will be set up at Borussia-Park for tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) friendly against FC Groningen and for the opening match of the Bundesliga season against Bayern Munich on August 13.
No appointment will be needed for the vaccinations, with fans only required to bring identification and a vaccination certificate. One of the mobile vaccination centres will be located on the stadium forecourt, with the other to be based behind the east stand at Borussia-Park.
The centres will be open from 12pm to 6pm for tomorrow’s match, and from 5pm to 8.30pm for the Bayern game.
Gladbach has also teamed up with health insurance company AOK Rheinland/Hamburg and the Mönchengladbach vaccination centre to offer prizes for anyone who gets jabbed. Anyone who gets vaccinated between today and August 13 at centres in the city can take part in a raffle to win one of 50 replica shirts, as well as tickets for the team’s upcoming home match against Arminia Bielefeld.
Borussia-Park will welcome up to 23,000 fans for the Bayern match. Only fans who have been vaccinated, have proof of immunity, or have tested negative for COVID-19 will be allowed in the stadium, which has a capacity of 54,000.