NRL players are seething after the Queensland government tonight backflipped on a promise to welcome their families into the state on Saturday.
Wide World of Sports has attained a letter sent by NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo to the players tonight, notifying them that plans for families to join them in Queensland had not only stalled but altered.
Although the Queensland government had agreed to accept a group application requesting entry into the state, it’s now demanding that hundreds of individual requests are submitted.
Despite the stunning move of the Queensland government the NRL believes families will be able to enter the state next week.
Families of players from Newcastle and Canberra are still expected to arrive in Queensland on Saturday as planned, as they are allowed to cross the border under the restrictions in place.
The Queensland government had originally agreed to let families complete a two-week quarantine in a separate Gold Coast resort, before joining the players in the Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast hubs.
The dire COVID-19 situations facing Sydney and Melbourne have led to the NRL shifting all nine Sydney clubs, as well as Newcastle, Canberra, the Central Coast-based Warriors and the Storm, to south-east Queensland.
“Dear players, officials and families,” Abdo wrote in the letter.
“The Queensland government has tonight advised that they will not provide an exemption for families from Greater Sydney to travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
“It means you will not be travelling as planned on Saturday, but it does not mean you will not be able to reach Queensland. The government would now like more individual information and more information about our quarantine facility and COVID-safe plans before they approve our submission.
“We are hopeful you will make it to the Gold Coast within a week.
“Over the coming days we will be working day and night to provide the information required on our quarantine arrangements to ensure the Queensland community remain safe and healthy.
“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. We will speak to you directly about our progress.
“We promise to continue communicating with you as often as possible and we will advise you as soon as we can about the additional information required to ensure our exemption request is approved.
“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 next week.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!