Players, officials living in locked down suburbs told to move by midnight

Players will be put in hotels at the AFL’s expense if they cannot find alternate accommodation.

The Western Bulldogs have played both Sydney teams in the last fortnight so theoretically should not be immediately effected.

Hawthorn say they do not have any players living in locked down postcodes so should be fine to travel to Sydney to face the Giants this Sunday.

The new rule is an added wrinkle in the complex process of crafting a new fixture for the coming rounds of football.

Geelong had been drawn to play St Kilda on Thursday night and Collingwood to face Brisbane on Friday night in round six, before both clubs flew to Perth to play one another while in quarantine. Both Collingwood and Geelong are still expected to play on those nights to ensure they can fly out to Perth and enter quarantine as early as possible, but whether they still play St Kilda and Brisbane is uncertain.

As reported by The Age on Tuesday, Sydney was shaping as a key venue for the relocation of games involving Victorian clubs, with the AFL set to revamp the fixture for rounds six and seven to deal with the closure of the South Australian border to Victoria.

NSW shaped as a key venue for the AFL and for the Victorian teams to be sent to, because it has open borders with the relevant states – Queensland, Victoria, SA and Western Australia.

The AFL is also looking at the Northern Territory – likely for matches later this season – and Canberra and while Queensland can take Victorian teams for a period, they must quarantine for 14 days there, as must teams that played Victorian teams in any state.

The AFL says that the fixture will need to be done in three week blocks, with all options on the table. The league plans to have a fixture for round six ready by Friday.