AFL SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT
The households of all players will need to meet strict health and safety protocols as the AFL gears up to resume its season on June 11.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan is appealing for players to be disciplined as they also face daily health checks and twice-weekly COVID-19 tests before playing again.
McLachlan confirmed players will resume modified training from Monday in groups of up to eight, with full contact training from May 25.
Friday's return-to-play announcement comes 54 days after the AFL was shutdown on March 22, one weekend into the shortened 17-round fixture.
An initial four-week block of fixtures will be released within 10 days.
Four clubs - West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide - will be based in hubs on Queensland's Gold Coast for at least the initial four weeks of the season resumption.
The Crows and ladder-leader Port will shift to the Gold Coast next week, given contact training is banned in South Australia until June 8 - three days before the season restarts.
McLachlan said all players and football department staff will be tested within 24 hours of a club's weekly main contact training session.
Players will also have daily health checks by club doctors amid AFL protocols which are "over and above" the rest of society.
"It's going to require discipline and resilience from all our players and all our football staff," McLachlan told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.
"There will be a set of protocols that govern how each player can work at training and outside of training, who can be allowed in the house and who they can live with.
"Every household will be assessed for risk and the environment they're living in.
"And that is our commitment to the community and to the government: that we have got a set of protocols that will be adhered to.
AFL Players Association boss Paul Marsh played down fears footballers could be forced out of home if their living arrangements weren't up to standard.
"The industry is not trying to come in here and move players away from their families or their housemate," he said.
"Obviously there is risk depending on who players live with, but there are some steps that can be taken (before it comes to that)."
South Australia is the only state yet to grant approval for its AFL players to resume contact training and will have to enter their Gold Coast hub before May 25.
West Coast and Fremantle have been allowed contact training, but border restrictions mean the Perth clubs can't fly in and fly out when games resume - the same scenario as in SA.
The families of players would be permitted to stay at the hubs.
"It's an exciting day for our clubs and our supporters," McLachlan said.
"(But) the return to footy doesn't mean the work is complete, we must continue to follow the advice of the governments."
McLachlan is hoping the season can conclude in mid-to-late October with a regular four-week finals series.
But the grand final is not certain to be played at the MCG, with McLachlan admitting the game's showpiece event could be shifted to Marvel Stadium if cricket's Twenty20 World Cup goes ahead as planned.