South Australia’s chief public health officer has been accused of “double standards” on her controversial decision to allow Collingwood to fly into Adelaide for their clash with the Crows this weekend.
Speculation was rife over the AFL team’s clearance to fly into South Australia from Covid-stricken Melbourne after the state’s police commissioner earlier that day indicated the team would be eligible to visit.
On Wednesday afternoon, SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier confirmed an exemption had been provided for the team’s visit, effectively clearing the way for the Magpies to play at Adelaide Oval.
Professor Spurrier said the team would now go into quarantine in Victoria prior to their arrival.
Players will need to sign a declaration confirming they had not visited any Covid-19 hotspots while in Melbourne.
SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier confirmed an exemption had been provided for Collingwood’s visit. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Brenton EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia
Professor Spurrier said they would have no contact with anyone but other Crows players.
“They will not be able to play until we have all the results in and they have all come back negative,” she said.
Professor Spurrier denied it was a “double standard” for the team’s exemption, saying the small group had “very tough” restrictions on them.
She noted the exemption had been granted on the grounds of the team visiting for work, and upon completing the game, they would leave.
“They will be here, they will be playing the match and they will be leaving,” Professor Spurrier said.
“This is a negligible risk – we have more of a risk taking people from hotel quarantine.”
Collingwood’s Jamie Elliott marks during a training session before the team’s visit to Adelaide. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Six new cases have been recorded in South Australia but none were locally acquired.
All cases were detected in hotel quarantine.
SA Health Minister Stephen Wade said nearly 200 exemptions had been received in the last week, and about 60 per cent of them had been approved.
“The public health team is doing what they’ve been doing through this pandemic,” he said.
“I think South Australians will be reassured with rigorous conditions they will be putting on the teams … to protect them.
The Crows’ Ned McHenry gets the ball away against Richmond. Picture: Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
AFL officials have said long-term hubs will be a “last resort” after the last-minute scramble to finalise the latest competition round.
“The reality of the current situation in the community means the fixture will become a week by week proposition for the short term as we navigate through an uncertain period,” the AFL’s Travis Auld said.
“While teams may find themselves on the road for a week or two, we are not envisaging a longer-term hub arrangement for any clubs.
“We will continue to keep a close eye on the current situation in the community before making, if required, any further changes to upcoming rounds.”
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