The AFL has revealed that it has secured an exemption from the Victorian government for Brisbane Lions players, coaches and officials after Queensland’s positive COVID-19 case.
Brisbane’s Round Two clash against Geelong was thrown into chaos minutes before the opening bounce due to the Victorian government’s new guidelines for residents of Brisbane were announced at 7:01pm, 49 minutes before the scheduled start time. The match was able to commence as originally planned at 7:50pm despite the scare.
After Queensland Health announced a locally-acquired positive case in Brisbane, the Victorian DHHS stated that anyone who had arrived in the state from Brisbane or the Moreton Bay region since March 12 would need to immediately self-isolate and undergo a COVID-19 test within 72 hours.
Genomic testing has shown that Brisbane’s latest locally acquired COVID-19 case is the UK variant and is linked to a previous cluster involving two overseas travellers.
The Brisbane Lions players run out onto GMHBA Stadium just minutes after the government’s announcement (Getty)
The AFL confirmed via an official statement issued on Friday night that it had secured an exemption during half-time of the Geelong-Brisbane clash.
“The AFL confirms the Brisbane Lions players, coaches and officials obtained an exemption from the Victorian Government from orange zone permit requirements as players, coaches and officials have all been living and abiding by approved AFL protocols,” the statement read. 
“We encourage everyone in the community to follow the advice of the Government that anyone who has entered Victoria from the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay Region since 12 March must immediately self-isolate, get a coronavirus test within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they receive a negative result.”
Fans were incredibly told to leave the ground just minutes before the start of the match and those who had arrived from Brisbane were instructed to get tested immediately.
The Victorian government’s latest guideline shown on the big screen at GMHBA Stadium (Getty)
According to a Triple M report, Brisbane Lions officials were also told to leave a corporate box where they had initially planned to watch the game.
Channel Seven commentators Luke Hodge and Wayne Carey were also forced to leave the stadium in order to get tested immediately, having been in Brisbane after March 12.
The AFL also announced that Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan’s post-match press conference would be held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 complications.
The Lions arrived in Melbourne from Queensland on Thursday. The Victorian government’s call also has implications on the Sydney Swans, who played Brisbane at the Gabba last Saturday.
Queensland’s positive case also has implications on the AFLW with North Melbourne’s women’s team having also been in Brisbane last weekend.
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