The Essendon Football Club and its staff will have to self-quarantine on arrival in WA ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Coast and remain there until they test negative for COVID-19.
WA Premier Mark McGowan announced the strict measures in response to Victoria’s worsening COVID outbreak, with the number of active cases rising to nine on Tuesday.
“From 6pm tonight, all arrivals from Victoria will be COVID tested on arrival or within 48 hours and have to self quarantine until a negative result is returned,” Mr McGowan announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Essendon players and staff are expected to touch down in WA on Thursday, but that could change to a game day flight.
AFL clubs have used a fly-in, play and fly-out approach during COVID affected games in the past, minimising the wait time during self-quarantine.
Victoria’s COVID chaos was sparked by a positive test in a male who returned from South Australia quarantine.
The Western Bulldogs are the only AFL club currently affected by the COVID outbreak, after a staff member visited a high-risk shopping centre.
The club expects their players and staff to return to training on Wednesday, pending negative test results being received overnight.
Victoria’s health department today confirmed Tuesday’s four new cases are all family contacts of a man in his 60s, who became the fifth person in Melbourne’s northern suburbs to test positive.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said authorities were working to contain the outbreak, with 84 of 164 primary close contacts testing negative so far.
“We have to chase down every single close contact … but it’s certainly not out of control,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.