UPDATE @ 3.30 PM | Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that the New Zealand Warriors have not yet been granted approval to fly into Australia.
It comes after multiple outlets earlier reported that the club had been given the green light to fly into Tamworth Airport on Sunday.
However, speaking following a National Cabinet meeting on Friday, Scott Morrison revealed leaders had not given the playing group an exemption to enter the country for the NRL season.
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“The National Cabinet has not provided that endorsement and nor is it for the National Cabinet to do that,” he said.
“The individual jurisdictions will ultimately provide any of the clearances that are necessary on a health basis to deal with any of the major codes.”
Mr Morrison said the decision to grant approval is up to the Australian Border Force and States, not National Cabinet.
“In relation to the border issues with New Zealand, that authority has not been provided,” the PM said.
“No amount of reporting it will change that decision. That will be made on the basis of the assessment of the Australian Border Force. They’re working through that application, they’ve received that application and when they’re in a position to authorise it, they will.”
The NRL has confirmed it plans to restart a 20-round competition on May 28, with the grand final locked in for October 25.
The State of Origin will be played after the grand final.
EARLIER @ 12.00 PM | The NRL’s hopes of a May 28 return are a step closer, after the New Zealand Warriors were reportedly given approval to fly into Australia.
According to Channel Nine, the National Cabinet on Friday granted an exemption for the team to fly down under.
Tamworth Airport will temporarily be reopened as an international airport for the one flight.
There will be 40 passengers on board the private charter, which is scheduled to touch down at 4pm on Sunday afternoon.
The Warriors will then be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
While the charter has been booked, it still hasn’t been confirmed whether the players will even board the flight, as discussions continue over a pay deal.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) May 1, 2020