NRL restart under threat after Queensland Premier denies COVID-19 travel exemptions

NRL teams will not be granted an exemption from COVID-19 quarantine laws in the state of Queensland according to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

In a blow to the hopes of rugby league's plan to get back on the field in May, Palaszczuk declared all players would be subject to 14-days' quarantine any time they return to Queensland.

It means the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast titans could only enter the revamped NRL if they remain in New South Wales until coronavirus boarder lockdowns are lifted. 

The NRL is banking on interstate teams being able to travel to and from games and raining via chartered planes.

But Palaszczuk said there will be no special treatment given to athletes in Queensland,  regardless of what other states may decide. 

"They [players] would not meet the criteria (to cross the border) and secondly we need to make sure we have clear health advice," Palaszczuk said, adding it will be a "long way before lifting restrictions" in Queensland.

"And I say to all the sporting organisations: let's just take a break. Let's get this 'flattening the curve' under control.

"And then we can talk to the health officers about getting advice. Let's not rush this. Let's take it slowly."

Palaszczuk added that as much as she wanted all sporting codes to resume, she had to act on health priorities.

"We all have to abide by the same rules and I think we have to have very clear health advice," she said. "I listen to expert advice.

"I would love to see the footy return ... I would love to see the State of Origin played this year.

"But unless we get firm health advice that it is OK, I think it sends the wrong message to the public.

And the curveballs continued for the NRL on Sunday with Australia's Chief Medical officer warning it was too early to begin planning for a return.

Brendan Murphy has called for patience.

"I note NSW Health has been dealing with the rugby league," Professor Murphy said.

"My personal view is it is premature to be planning things but that is a matter for NSW."

Meanwhile the Victorian government are yet to clarify if the Storm could train in Melbourne but play in NSW, or if that would break social-distancing rules.