Families of Sydney-based NRL players and officials will not be travelling to the Gold Coast tomorrow as planned.
- Families were due to join players, who arrived on Wednesday
- NRL says the government now required further information about individuals
- Earlier the Chief Health Officer said she was satisfied with NRL’s COVID-safe plan
National Rugby League CEO Andrew Abdo wrote to players, officials and their families late yesterday to say the Queensland government had not granted the necessary exemptions.
“It means you will not be travelling as planned on Saturday, but it does not mean you will not be able to reach Queensland,” Mr Abdo said.
The letter stated that the Queensland government required further information about individuals, the quarantine facility and COVID-safe plans.
The families were due to join players who arrived in Queensland on Wednesday.
It was hoped families based in Canberra and Newcastle would not be impacted.
“To families who are not based in a hot spot, such as families in Canberra and Newcastle, we will do everything we can to get you to the Gold Coast on Saturday, given the border is not currently closed to you,” Mr Abdo said.
He said he hoped to have families reconnected on the Gold Coast in the coming days.
“I can’t pretend to know how disappointed you are, but you have our word that we will do everything we can to have you in Queensland by the end of the week,” he said.
Twelve NRL teams moved into “hubs” or hotels around south-east Queensland, where they will remain for the next two months of the 2021 season.
Earlier in the week Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she was satisfied with the NRL’s COVID-safe plans and that there was “absolutely no risk at all to the Queensland population”.
“The NRL has done this many times now,” Dr Young said.
“They’re very, very practised at it.”
‘Any visit to the Gold Coast is positive’
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said with the region’s tourism industry struggling after a “slow” school holidays, “any visit to the Gold Coast” was positive.
“Safety will always come first, but it’s always about balancing the economic opportunities and supporting the families here on the Gold Coast that have been doing it so tough at the moment,” she said.
“[The NRL hub on the coast and Origin] have been putting a spotlight on the Gold Coast as a great destination to be able to host these events.
“But I think they are doing the right thing and asking for more information.”