Suncorp NRL GF all but locked up as Queensland avoids major COVID outbreak

Suncorp NRL GF all but locked up as Queensland avoids major COVID outbreak



The NRL is pushing hard to hold Sunday’s grand final in Brisbane as scheduled, after just two new cases of COVID-19 were registered in Queensland on Saturday.

Fears of a postponement or relocation have been largely allayed with a historic first-decider’s day out at Suncorp Stadium, as the number of cases in the state remains low with no dispersion in the community.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has stopped giving the green light to the decision maker, but gave the best indication yet that the blockbuster in South Sydney and Penrith will continue.

“A day is a long time with COVID-19, but things are looking very positive,” she said Saturday morning.

“To know that we had five clusters, and the reality is that we haven’t seen any community transmission beyond the actual workplace and household contacts is great news.

“But it relies on people coming forward and being tested so we can see if there is a transfer and we can get over it very quickly.

“But if we’re standing here today with beautiful clear skies…it’s going to be a glorious long weekend and if people keep coming to get tested and vaccinated, we’re hopeful we’re going to have a great weekend.”

So far, Queensland has avoided a lockdown after community transmission cases surfaced in the state on Tuesday.

Bird’s-eye view of Suncorp Stadium

It has thrown the NRL’s schedule for Sunday’s event into chaos with emergency plans ranging from relocation to Townsville to a postponement of the game for at least a week if crowds were banned.

Western Australia has also reportedly made an effort to organize the decision maker as a postponement was forced due to a lockdown in Queensland.

However, it is clear that the game will remain in the limelight.

The NRL had hoped the outbreak would be contained and Saturday’s low numbers would be a sigh of relief for the league after an anxious wait that will continue for another day.

The Queensland government has said they will not give the green light to play the match with 75 per cent spectators as scheduled until Sunday morning, pending the number of cases.

The number of visitors has already been reduced from 52,000 to 39,000 with a capacity of 75 percent. That could be lowered even further if the outbreak spirals out of control over the next 24 hours.

© AAP

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