Reopening stadium gates for NRL fans will be dependent on the advice of medical experts, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt.
ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys has continued his bold plan towards NRL normality after floating the idea of having capped crowds back from July 1.
While the NSW and Queensland governments on Monday said they are open to the possibility, they concede discussions might be premature.
For Hunt, the answer is simple.
“We’ll be guided by the medical expert panel,” he said.
“There is a process which has been set up with the states and the medical expert panel to review all of the professional sports.
“And they will make judgements fear or favour.
“They won’t make judgements on economic imperatives or anything.
“Our goal is to get Australians back to as much normality as possible as soon as possible, but our guideline is to do it safely.”
V’landys believes declining infection rates mean some club members could be able to attend games while observing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should V’landys succeed with his latest push, it would make rugby league one of the few sports in the world to be operating with spectators.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian insisted the return of fans to sporting events is not part of any plan her government is currently exploring.
“It’s up to organisations to consider their options but certainly we’re not in that space yet,” she said.
Pushed further on whether she felt it was too soon, the premier said: “We’re working our way through the list, and that’s not on the list yet.”
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant agreed and added that the biggest risk would be the interactions of people on a large scale.
“We’re very keen to work with all organisations on how to establish a COVID-safe environment,” Chant said.
“We don’t want mingling of groups that normally do not mingle.
“That is the reason we have limited the bookings to 10 (in restaurants), so you don’t have larger-scale interactions.
“We are vigilant and monitoring but, as the premier said, we are considering every organisation’s need and are happy to work with them.”
V’landys has already managed to win over both state governments on the safe return of the sport for Thursday’s resumption under strict biosecurity measures.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was at one stage one of the most-vocal critics before relenting earlier this month.
She was more open on Monday to the idea of capping crowd sizes.
“In July, I think the road map says gatherings of 100 people,” Palaszcuk said.
“But they can submit a plan and, of course, we will take it each month as it comes.”
The NRL will keep a close watch on infection rates as the nation continues to come out of lockdown.
The league remains hopeful of being able to have bigger numbers at finals matches and November’s three-game State of Origin series.
The Origin venues have yet to be confirmed.