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Last updated: 6/29/20 11:28 am
The Melbourne Rebels were forced to travel outside Victoria for their Super Rugby AU game against the Reds on July 10 due to tough new quarantine measures for sports teams.
Australia recorded its largest one-day increase in new coronavirus infections on Monday in more than two months with Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, accounting for 75 of the 85 new cases.
Queensland, which has not reported any new cases, immediately imposed a 14-day quarantine on any state sports team that played against a team in Melbourne or the city.
The Rebels were scheduled to host the Queensland Reds on July 10 in the second round of Super Rugby AU, which will begin this weekend to kick-start an Australian season suspended in March by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anticipating the possibility of such a Queensland decision, the rebels moved to Canberra last Friday for their first round match against ACT Brumbies.
“By July 10, all Rebels players and staff will be out of Victoria for the 14 days required to ensure that the Reds do not need to quarantine themselves upon their return to Queensland after the match, “said a club press release.
July 3, 2020, 6:00 p.m.
“The Melbourne Rebels can confirm that we are currently evaluating other sites in New South Wales (NSW) to host our second round game against the Queensland Reds.”
The club said the group’s 50 players and coaches had undergone “periodic COVID tests” with no positive results so far.
The new Queensland quarantine rules seem likely to cause chaos in other Australian professional sports, with the rugby league, football, netball and cricket also affected.
Australian rules are likely to be the hardest hit, as 10 of the 18 elite Australian Football League teams are based in Melbourne.