Queensland Police have confirmed they’re investigating claims up to ten Brisbane Broncos players may have breached coronavirus restrictions after attending a pub for lunch earlier this month.
A special task force has been set up to investigate the matter, however the Broncos are adamant they did not think they breached restrictions.
In a statement, the club said they are “aware of an alleged COVID breach by a group of players” who attended the Everton Park Hotel for lunch on Saturday August 1.
The Broncos said it was the same day that players and staff inside the club’s ‘covid bubble’ had transitioned back into more-relaxed Project Apollo Queensland restrictions.
“The team had played Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium the night before, which marked the end of a 14-day hard lockdown put in place after the team travelled to Sydney for the Round 10 game against the West Tigers on July 17,” the club said in a statement.
“The players were of the understanding that lunch at the hotel was permissible under the more-relaxed restrictions which they were under at the time.”
Police confirmed they were notified of “multiple people breaching the public health directions at a hotel in Everton Park” on Sunday August 9.
“As the investigation remains ongoing, the QPS is unable to provide further comment,” Qld police said in a statement.
State Disaster Coordinator Steve Gollschewski said the hotel has been cooperating with the investigation.
“We have been able to get good cooperation from the hotel so we have no concerns around the hotel and how it has conducted itself,” he said.
“The issue really is of whether there is evidence of any breach by members of that group against the Chief health officers directions.”
Once police have finalised their investigation into the incident, the NRL integrity unit will then determine whether or not the players breached their protocols and hand down any necessary punishments.
“In terms of whether they have breached the NRL’s requirements is a matter for the NRL,” State Disaster Coordinator Gollschewski confirmed.