MELBOURNE: The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be permitted 30,000 fans per day during the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India after authorities eased crowd restrictions on Thursday. The match was to be capped at 25,000 fans per day but Victoria sports minister Martin Pakula confirmed the increase on social media after the southern state confirmed it had notched its 41st consecutive day without a new case of Covid-19. The second Test of the four-match series will be the first time fans have been allowed to attend the iconic stadium since 86,000 watched Australia win the Women’s T20 World Cup final against India in March. The reopening of the MCG comes after a long hiatus where stadiums and sports enclosures were forced to close down globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Plans to reopen venues were also delayed as cases surged, as seen in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in September that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be on hold for six months due to a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. Professional sport, including the Premier League football matches as well as domestic and international cricket matches, has largely been played behind closed doors since it returned following the Covid-19 shutdown earlier this year.