The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) is in negotiations with the state government to allow its Super Rugby team to return home without having to undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine ahead of their championship final on May 8.
Perth was sent into a three-day lockdown because of a single case of COVID-19 at midnight on Friday, a few hours after the Reds had lost their final match of the regular season to the Western Force in the city.
Under Queensland’s health regulations, anyone arriving in the state from Perth from Saturday is obliged to undergo a two-week quarantine at an approved facility.
The Reds squad will travel from Perth to Sydney by charter flight on Saturday before negotiating the final leg of the journey back home to Brisbane.
The QRU said it had held “positive conversations” with the government to allow some flexibility in the isolation requirements.
“The QRU is in the process of submitting a request to activate the same successful model employed last year where the Reds playing squad and team staff were in home quarantine and a bubble at Ballymore,” the QRU said in a statement.
“This is to ensure the team can continue training preparations ahead of their Super Rugby AU Grand Final on Saturday 8 May at (Lang Park).”
The Reds finished top of the Super Rugby AU standings to secure the right to host the final against the winner of a playoff between the ACT Brumbies and Western Force in Canberra next week.
The Perth lockdown also impacted other professional sporting action in Australia over the weekend.
An A-League soccer match scheduled for Sunday in Queensland between the Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory has been postponed, while an Australian rules game between Fremantle Dockers and North Melbourne will go ahead without a crowd on Saturday.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Jane Wardell)
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