Thousands of AFL fans who attended an MCG match have been ordered to be tested for COVID-19 as three Melbourne clubs prepare to fly out of the Victorian capital earlier than scheduled.
Essendon and Carlton players and staffers will depart on Wednesday to ensure they don’t get trapped by any further restrictions amid Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak.
The Bombers will fly to Perth for Saturday’s game against West Coast while Carlton will depart for Sydney for Sunday’s match against the Swans.
Carlton confirmed their players and staff had coronavirus tests on Wednesday morning before their flight to Sydney.
Essendon players and staffers will be tested on arrival in Perth and isolate until they receive negative results.
Hawthorn will fly to Darwin on Thursday – a day earlier than originally planned – for their clash with Gold Coast on Saturday night.
Richmond will be tested for COVID-19 before Sunday’s match at the MCG against Adelaide as a precautionary measure to assist with the Crows in their return to South Australia after the match.
The hasty departures come as health authorities order thousands of fans who attended last Sunday’s fixture between Collingwood and Port Adelaide to get a COVID-19 test and isolate until they return a negative result.
A person with coronavirus attended Port’s one-point win over the Magpies at the MCG, seated in Zone 4, Level 1 of the Great Southern Stand at the Punt Road end.