NRL 2020: NSW government letter outlines details for competition return in May

A letter from the New South Wales government proves the NRL has the green light to resume play next month, although it must meet a number of safe workplace requirements.

The letter, dated April 8 and signed off by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, was sent to Australian Rugby League chairman (ARLC) Peter V'landys.

AAP obtained a copy of the letter which outlines all the regulations the NRL must comply with, which include having no more than 500 people at the venue.

However, the letter states that there is no impediment to matches resuming if they are played in empty stadiums and involve only NSW-based teams.

Earlier this week, the NRL said it's hoping to get play back underway by the end of May.

"As at 8 April 2020, the NSW Health Minister's directions relating to COVID-19 does not preclude the NRL from commencing a competition in the terms outlined above," the letter reads.

"In addition, the competition organisers must comply with all the existing state and federal work, health and safety requirements and ensure that a safe workplace is maintained for all participants.

"In summary, subject to the compliance with the matters dealt with above, the NSW Health Minister's directions would not preclude the commencement of the modified NRL competition."

There was some confusion on Friday when NSW health minister Brad Hazzard cast fresh doubt over the NRL's plan to restart competition on May 28.

Hazzard said he had not been consulted on the league's plan to resume play, while the state's deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly expressed concern over the risks of returning to action too soon.

Speaking again on Saturday,Hazzard said the NRL had to have a discussion with NSW Health to see if it could return next month safely.

"If he [Hazzard] says we have to, we will, but I have letters saying we can [return]," V'landys told AAP on Saturday. 

"We'll do anything the state government requires us to do, but we are still of the firm view that we have permission in writing and it's in the health order.

"I totally understand how busy they are so, accordingly, I don't expect them to know all the detail.

"But we're comfortable we have the permission both in writing and in the health order."

V'Landys added that players will be asked to undertake a number of biosecurity measures when the game returns, including around hygiene, self-isolation and temperature checks.

The NRL is desperate to return to action after V'Landys revealed last month the game is under massive financial pressure.