SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: A general view of NRL headquarters at Rugby League Central on April 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: A general view of NRL headquarters at Rugby League Central on April 28, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

COVID-cops: How the NRL will fight coronavirus

Players have been warned to expect random house visits by the game's "COVID-cops" to ensure they are complying with strict new biosecurity protocols to be in place from Monday.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained the Project Apollo Player Protocols document which lists a range of drastic rules the players must adhere to if they want to play.

It comes with an ominous warning that "failure to adhere to these protocols, even by one Player or Staff member, jeopardies the entire NRL season for everyone" and tells players to "demonstrate courage and leadership in adhering the requirements."

A large portion of the 14-page document focuses on daily monitoring which will subject players to scrutiny similar to that of being drug tested. Players will be explained of the measures when they return to their clubs for the first time today since the competition was suspended in March.

As part of audit and checks on players whereabouts they have been told to expect;

*Random "door knocks" at home to check where they should be or where they say they should be

*Calls to check up on them and their whereabouts.

*Checking that what they have said or declared is true.

*Actively checking they are adhering to the other requirements of the policy.

The Warriors arrived in Tamworth on Sunday. AAP Image/Darren Pateman.
The Warriors arrived in Tamworth on Sunday. AAP Image/Darren Pateman.

Players have been told they must be "contactable (phone charged, off mute and on them) most of the time. If a player is repeatedly uncontactable this may result in more stringent requirements on their reporting.

Everyone on the club's 50 person training list - made up of 32 players and 18 officials - must adhere to the rules.

The NRL was sorting through each person's living arrangements on Sunday and informing clubs of potential red flags which could result in players being told they need to move out if they want to play.

They must also complete two daily forms - a health check and another on daily whereabouts confirmation - via an online application. As part of their whereabouts people must indicate where they have been in the past 24 hours, the people they have been in contact with and confirm they have not had any visitors at home.

They have been told not to kiss anyone who does not live with them and are banned from taking selfies or signing autographs.

Anyone who does not submit the information on time will banned from training or matches until cleared by NRL medical personnel.

Just one player breaking the rules could put the entire league in jeopardy..
Just one player breaking the rules could put the entire league in jeopardy..

 

"Failure to submit may also expose the individual and their Club to sanctions, or more severe penalty, under the NRL Rules," the document read.

Players must also be vaccinated or a number of anti-vaccinators may be asked to sign a waiver as a "conscious objector".
They face fines or suspensions if they do not comply.

Clubs were told they must limit training to just groups of 10 including staff and players when on-field training resumes Tuesday.

Physical contact such as tackling and wrestling is banned this week while kicking and passing is allowed under government restrictions. The ban is expected to be lifted on Saturday.

Clubs were seeking clarity if they could split their players in different parts of the training facility at the one time. They are still expecting players who do not have an issue with biosecurity compliance to return to training Monday despite suggestions the playing group may not return until as late as Thursday.

Originally published as COVID-cops and house calls: How the NRL will fight coronavirus


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