NRL players have received a major boost on the eve of the 2022 season after the league and the players’ union reached an agreement on relaxed COVID-19 protocols.
Players will now be free to attend restaurants and cafes with their families during the season under the new rules.
Despite being strongly advised to stay away from cinemas and bowling alleys, players will not be prohibited from attending either if they choose to do so.
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Under the new guidelines, players or staff from the same club will not be allowed to congregate in indoor settings in groups of more than three.
The new agreement was praised by Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) CEO Clint Newton.
“This is a big step forward and it’s a huge credit to our player leaders who have continued to be motivated to secure improved outcomes for male and female players,” Newton told AAP.
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“Our players can now go to funerals, weddings and birthday parties without seeking permission.
“Having those simple life pleasures restored is really important to our players and it was certainly worth advocating for.”
The relaxed protocols will be reviewed by both the NRL and the RLPA prior to the commencement of the season as well as during the season itself.