South Australia joining Victoria and NSW in lockdown has placed further pressure on the AFL’s bid to keep the season running as planned.
The SA government on Tuesday announced the state will go into a seven-day lockdown to combat a fresh COVID-19 outbreak involving the highly contagious Delta strain.
It means Friday night’s match between Port Adelaide and Collingwood at Adelaide Oval will have to be moved, or played behind closed doors.
The Magpies were expected to go into quarantine ahead of the match to satisfy tight SA government protocols and allow the Magpies to fly in and out of Adelaide on Friday.
Collingwood faced a similar situation when they played Adelaide in round 12, as have Geelong, Sydney and Brisbane for trips to SA.
Hawthorn are also scheduled to play at Adelaide Oval in a game against the Crows on Sunday.
The AFL is bracing for the possibility of more players being ordered to isolate as a result of the growing number of exposure sites in Victoria.
The Western Bulldogs, Sydney, GWS and Essendon have already had key players forced into quarantine after attending a Tier 2 exposure site in Victoria.
Josh Dunkley (Bulldogs), Callum Mills (Swans) and Toby Greene (GWS) headline the star players who will need to miss multiple matches after going to the Wallabies’ Test match against France in Melbourne last week.
The AFL has already swapped three matches scheduled for round 20 to this coming weekend to avoid some complexities of the coronavirus situation.
The league wants to push through as planned until the end of the season but does have a bye scheduled before the start of the finals.