The AFL season will resume on June 11.
After all the drama surrounding rugby league’s planned return on May 28, Australia’s other main sporting code will start just two weeks later.
Clubs will begin non-contact training from Monday, May 18 before a full-scale return to contact training, with two sessions a week, is introduced from May 25.
After initial swabs this week, players and officials will be tested for COVD-19 at least 24 hours before each session in order to have results returned before beginning the sessions.
The AFL expects to release a revised draw next week.
“Today is a significant step in getting footy back for everyone – our fans, our clubs, players, coaches, umpires, officials and staff, our broadcast and corporate partners and club partners and all who love the game,” AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said.
“We know as this situation continues to evolve, we have to remain agile and flexible to be able to adapt where necessary while ensuring we continue to prioritise the health and welfare of our players, staff and the wider community and – importantly – don’t place any burden on the public health system.
“We have developed our model as the best option for returning to play for both players and officials and the general public and have done so following extensive consultation, including with the Federal, State and Territory Governments and Chief Health Officers.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister, the various ministers, State Premiers and Chief Ministers and all the Chief Health Officers for their on-going support and guidance.
“I particularly want to acknowledge the Victorian, NSW and Queensland Governments for their support in leading the way for football to return.”
“All through this evolving pandemic we have anchored every decision in-line with the advice of the respective government and relevant medical authorities. Our return to play plans and our timings is evidence of that.
“Our industry understands the opportunity we have been given and we also fully understand and accept our responsibility to our football family and to the wider community.”