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NRL season at risk of shutdown if breaches continue: Young


Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has warned the remaining NRL season could be shut down if players fail to follow strict coronavirus protocols.

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Dr Jeannette Young said she was satisfied that the code’s management were taking the virus threat seriously, but was concerned players were not.

“There have been a number of breaches that potentially put the season at risk,” she told reporters on Monday.

Several players and coaching staff are in periods of mandatory isolation after breaching the NRL’s biosecurity bubbles in the past week.

Brisbane star Tevita Pangai Jr and two Newcastle players were the latest to violate the health measures on Sunday after two other players and three members of the Bronco’s coaching staff were also stood down.

Coach Anthony Seibold has also entered a quarantine period after he opted to exit Brisbane’s bubble temporarily to deal with a family matter on Friday before returning from NSW.

Young said the NRL had informed her about every breach and put in some firm penalties.

“I’m satisfied that management are dealing with this very, very seriously, I’m not sure that players understand the seriousness.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she found the process “incredibly frustrating” as it threatened to undo all the work Queenslanders had done.

“Every code that’s here in Queensland has signed up to an industry plan and must do the right thing.”

The warning comes two days after the Sunshine State closed its border with NSW and authorities.

Border communities have been put on notice that exemptions allowing them to cross over will end if coronavirus spreads north from NSW.

Despite the potential threat, the state’s aged care homes have been permitted to reopen to visitors.

It follows two weeks of high alert for an outbreak linked to two teens who dodged quarantine.

Health officials are now confident the women did not spread COVID-19 after returning from Melbourne in July and moving around the community for a week.

“Today was the very important day,” Palaszczuk said on Monday, referring to the end of the two-week period since police placed the women in isolation.

“Aged care restrictions will be lifted, which I know means a lot to the families, especially over the last week or so when they have not been able to see their loved ones.”

One new case of the virus was diagnosed overnight from Sunday, a man in mandatory hotel quarantine who recently returned from overseas.


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