Virus restrictions to halt AFL season

Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the AFL has suspended its season. Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

The AFL season has been postponed in response to new coronavirus measures put in place by federal and state governments, chief executive Gillon McLachlan has announced.

At a hastily convened press conference at AFL House, McLachlan said the league had suspended the competition until May 31, while the AFLW season -- in the midst of a finals series -- was now over, with no premiership awarded.

All club training has been suspended indefinitely.

The final two games of the AFL season -- between Hawthorn and Brisbane at the MCG, and West Coast and Melbourne at Optus Stadium -- will go ahead, before the suspension begins.

The decision was made after Prime Minister Scott Morrison's call for people to cancel all non-essential travel within Australia.

"The AFL industry is facing its biggest financial crisis in our history, but our key priority is to do everything possible to keep players, staff and supporters healthy and well through this pandemic," McLachlan said.

"To say that this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement.

"It is unprecedented in its impact.

"It is unprecedented in the impact it is having on our game and our wider community.

"And as a community and as a code, we all need to take the unprecedented and required actions to get through this together."

Round 1 was only given the green light 24 hours before Thursday's season opener, with the league to take the advice of governments and medical experts before deciding if it will be able to resume the season at the end of May.

In addition to the measures announced by the prime minister, the premiers of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia also announced new restrictions on Sunday.

From Tuesday, Victoria will shut down non-essential services while any visitors to SA and WA will be subjected to a 14-day self-isolation period.