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Australia Relief as NRL families enter Qld bubbles

08:21  04 august  2021
08:21  04 august  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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NRL families are set to be reunited with players and staff as planned on Wednesday despite Queensland announcing an extension to the COVID-19 lockdown. Although confident the competition won't need to be shifted from Queensland to another state, the NRL is already planning for a worst case scenario. That could include shifting to the ACT, Victoria or hubs in regional NSW. Families are set to come out of a hard 14-day quarantine on Wednesday and will be transported to NRL hubs in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast or on the Gold Coast.

Businesses close to the border between New South Wales and Queensland are rejoicing today at the prospect of getting back to normal and shaking off the burden of border restrictions. "Those were Gold Coast contractors and those jobs have gone to an absolute crawl." Master Builders Gold Coast regional manager John Duncalfe said others in the industry had faced financial ruin and a rollercoaster of emotions. "I actually had some builders crying, that's how much relief there is," he said.

Cronulla prop Aaron Woods spent just one hour with his daughter since she was born three weeks ago, so he's more than ready to start building his bond with Coco Rae.

Aaron Woods, Matthew Lodge are posing for a picture: Cronulla's Aaron Woods is delighted to be reunited with his family after their quarantine period. © Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS Cronulla's Aaron Woods is delighted to be reunited with his family after their quarantine period.

Relief swept through NRL hubs in Queensland on Wednesday as families, officials and players were reunited after being released from their 14-day hotel quarantine.

Hundreds of family members were transported at staggered intervals into the NRL hubs across Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast on Wednesday, sparking a sense of excitement in the camps.

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NRL clubs from NSW and the ACT will go back into strict biosecurity bubbles after ARLC chairman Players outside Qld not allowed into cafes, restaurants, pubs. “We’re not moving to Queensland at Playing out the season in a Queensland bubble is being explored by Peter V’landys and the NRL .

Relief for qld clubs with relocation off table for now. The NRL will step up its testing of NSW players in coronavirus hot spots but in a big plus Queensland teams won’t be forced to relocate. The NRL has instructed clubs to send any players or staff that live in either Players and staff within team bubbles will not be allowed to attend venues including cafes, restaurants, pubs, beaches and golf courses to avoid community contact during the current spike in COVID-19 cases. Restrictions on home visitors will also return. Clubs based in Queensland will remain under current protocols.

Few were more excited than the Woods family.

Aaron's wife Sarah gave birth to Coco Rae just six days before flying into a hard lockdown in Queensland along with the couple's two-year-old son Buster.

"I've only seen my daughter for about an hour and it's been three weeks since she was born so I'm looking forward to that and trying to get a bit of a connection there," Woods said on Wednesday, before the Sharks players we reunited with family later in the afternoon.

"I just can't wait to see my little fella too."

Woods had stayed in Sydney for the birth of Coco Rae before flying in to join the team's hub in Brisbane.

Since then he's only had Facetime contact with his newborn as his wife wrangled the difficulty of two kids in a hotel room for a fortnight.

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Families consider leaving bubble after late change. Meanwhile, some NRL families could leave the Gold Coast bubble in the coming days after tight restrictions were introduced once they arrived. Channel 9’s Danny Weidler tweeted that one family in the quarantine hub has officially It comes as the NRL reported a potential breach of quarantine protocols to Queensland Health after families with balconies were spotted passing marshmallows between floors. Originally families were informed they would be able to move across floors and other parts of the buildings during meal breaks.

Shocking footage shows a man collapsing as he's being arrested for not wearing a face mask while exercising in a Brisbane park.

"She's taken one for the team, she's done it tough obviously," Woods said.

"Her (hotel) level was quite hard, they didn't have a microwave or vacuum cleaner or anything but we're lucky we've got some friends outside that could ring around and support her and help her out.

"She's done a massive one, I just can't wait to see the kids.

"The two-year-old has been driving her nuts and she can't wait to get out of that room."

The families entering the NRL bubble will still be subject to Queensland's lockdown laws while players are under level four restrictions.

However, it will afford them some small freedoms like outdoor exercise and leaving their hotel floor, with most prepared to stay in Queensland for the rest of the NRL season.

It's a reality Aiden Tolman addressed with his young family as soon as they found out NRL players were moving to Queensland for a month at minimum.

"We pretty much knew we were going to be away for the whole time just the way it was going, and it made sense to come up here and have crowds," he said.

"That's just the way it is, we're in a fortunate position, we get to still play footy, we still have our jobs.

"A lot of people around the country don't have that opportunity at the moment.

"We're grateful for the opportunity the NRL and the Queensland government have given us and hopefully it can put a few smiles on people's faces."

Double-headers galore as NRL locks in schedule .
The NRL has locked in two double-headers for Round 22, with Suncorp Stadium and a surprise venue set to play host.The round will get underway in a clash between fierce modern-day rivals the Storm and Raiders at Sunshine Coast Stadium from 7.50pm (AEST) on Thursday night. The game will be aired live and free on Nine.

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