Queensland border closure causes dramas for NRL and AFL

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·2-min read
The Melbourne Storm and Sydney Swans, pictured here in action in the NRL and AFL.
The NRL and AFL have both been affected by Queensland's border closure. Image: Getty

The Queensland government’s decision to close its border to Sydney residents has sparked a change of plans for both the NRL and AFL.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday that the Queensland border will be shut to the entire greater Sydney area from Saturday, as the state nervously waits to see if two new cases will cause a second wave.

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Two “reckless” teens dodged mandatory quarantine in Queensland after returning from Melbourne infected with coronavirus are being investigated by police for allegedly lying on their border declaration form.

“I'm absolutely furious that this has happened,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Wednesday.

“We need people to tell the truth... We do not want a second wave here. We do not want widespread community transmission.

“The next 24 to 48 hours is very crucial here in Queensland.”

NRL and AFL affected by border closure

With Queensland declaring Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot, the city's two AFL teams will now hastily alter their plans.

GWS, who face Gold Coast on Sunday, will now fly out on Thursday afternoon.

The Giants and Sydney Swans were already both playing their next two games in Queensland before heading to a hub in Western Australia, but the border closure means they won't be able to return home after round nine.

Meanwhile, the NRL is seeking confirmation from the Queensland government that its NSW clubs will still be exempted from their latest border closure.

While the league has previously been exempted from restrictions on previous COVID-19 hotspots, it must re-apply each time Queensland tightens its measures.

Four NRL teams are currently based in Queensland - the Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans, North Queensland Cowboys and the relocated Melbourne Storm.

Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured here speaking at a press conference in Brisbane.
Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at a press conference in Brisbane. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Ms Palaszczuk said a growing number of clusters around Sydney prompted the move to ban those from the region entering Queensland from 1am on Saturday.

The move will see an additional 31 local government areas added to the declared hotspots list, which currently also includes the entire state of Victoria.

Queensland has six active COVID-19 cases, including the two latest ones.

The 19-year-old women, who flew back from Melbourne via Sydney on July 21 after travelling together, were active in the community for eight days before isolating.

“I'm very, very disappointed. I think it was reckless,” Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young told reporters on Wednesday.

“They've been out and about for eight days with symptoms.”

The pair, from Acacia Ridge and Logan, are being treated in the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

with AAP