Queensland border restrictions put AFL plans in disarray

Thursday night's AFL clash between West Coast and Richmond has been officially postponed, with the Queensland government set to impose severe quarantine restrictions on teams entering from Victoria.

In a statement from Queensland chief health officer, any Queensland or Queensland-based team will be subject to new quarantine rules.

The rules state that teams who play against a Melbourne team in Queensland are required to quarantine after the match for 14 days, or a team that plays in Melbourne is required to quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Queensland. A team that plays in another state against a side who has been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days is also required to quarantine on their return to Queensland.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan faced the media at a press conference on Monday, acknowledging the latest Queensland government changes has created a challenge for the sporting code but will "find a way to get through".

"All our decision making has been anchored in the advice of government. We said it would be a season like no other and we would need to be flexible and agile to play all 144 games.

"We're all going to have to get used to not having predictability, order or routine. 2020 is a challenge."

Asked if he would be considering moving Victorian clubs out of the state, McLachlan said it would remain an option.

"We have options on the table [to move clubs out of Victoria]. We are ready if we need them, at the moment we've got a fixture for this weekend will continue day-to-day."

The Gold Coast Suns are currently scheduled to face Geelong next week and McLachlan believes they will be required to undergo the 14-day quarantine if the match goes ahead in Victoria.

"The Suns will have to do that [14-days quarantine after playing Geelong]. We'll have advice on that in the coming days.

"Football is going ahead in this state. If we do need to respond, we can move."

The latest COVID-19 spike in Victoria which saw 75 new cases reported on Monday, has resulted in the Queensland government imposing the new measures, and has left the AFL scrambling to revise their fixture list for this week and beyond.

The updated fixture list was released Monday morning, with Carlton and St Kilda's clash, originally set for Saturday afternoon moved to primetime Thursday night.

The Eagles will also now take on the Sydney Swans on the God Coast on Saturday afternoon, while Richmond will take on Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

It's expected that the new measures will hasten the implementation of the hub model for future rounds, with clubs relocating to Perth, Tasmania and Darwin, being openly discussed.

Queensland's new border rules also have implications on Victoria's NRL side, the Melbourne Storm, who are currently based on the Sunshine Coast.