Geelong will fly in and out of Adelaide on Thursday for it’s clash with Port Adelaide after the South Australian government helped the AFL lock in the marquee fixture.
And both Queensland and Tasmanian governments have also given approval for matches between St Kilda and Adelaide in Cairns, and North Melbourne’s clash with GWS to lock in the full Round 13 fixture.
The SA government confirmed on Tuesday morning a travel exemption had been granted, with the Cats to follow the same strict testing and isolation rules as Collingwood did last week.
Geelong players will fly out of Avalon airport on Thursday afternoon, go to the Adelaide Oval, play the match, then fly back home that night.
The Geelong players were been forced into 60 hours of quarantine from 5pm on Monday to ensure they could travel to SA. Many players will spend Tuesday and Wednesday in hotels so their families can leave their own homes.
BREAKING: @GeelongCats have been granted an exemption to enter SA for their clash against @PAFC Thursday night.
They will be required to follow the same strict testing and isolation rules as @CollingwoodFC & their charter plane will fly out after the game. @[email protected]/d9erZntLoU
North Melbourne are set to fly in and out of Tasmania on Sunday for their afternoon game, but the Giants could stay overnight as there less concerns with them re-entering NSW.
The Kangaroos will be under strict conditions which includes being transported directly between the airport and Blundstone Arena (and back) on a bus organised and wearing face masks at all times except when eating, training and playing.
“We know we have a huge responsibility to the wider community to do everything possible to ensure their safety, and a responsibility to make sure the games can continue, so this is a great result for everyone,” North Melbourne CEO Ben Amarfio said.
“Our players and football staff have been living under strict restrictions which include working within a bubble and regular testing, minimising risk where possible.”
North Melbourne's Round 13 clash with GWS at Blundstone Arena will go ahead as planned.
Ticketing information 🎟️ https://t.co/LBwubmkMQt
St Kilda is already in Sydney and will fly north, while the Crows will be unimpeded on their trip to Queensland.
A looming end to Melbourne’s lockdown this Friday could also signal a small return of crowds to AFL games when they return to Victoria the following weekend.
But sports Minister Martin Pakula said crowds would not hit the 85 per cent capacity levels they were before the lockdown.
“Once restrictions are eased, then we will go back into the public events framework,” Mr Pakula said.
“The AFL will make some decisions about what it is they want, and that will be assessed by the public health team in the same way that it was before the outbreak.”
“All going well with the epidemiology and infection rates, we’ll see crowds gradually increase,” he said.
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