The Rebels have been left stranded following a new Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne and the greater Victoria region.
According to reports from New Zealand, the Rebels were due to land in Queenstown, Otago on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s match against the Highlanders in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island.
But that won’t happen without a government exemption following New Zealand’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins placing a pause on quarantine-free travel to and from Victoria for 72 hours starting from 8pm NZT on Tuesday.
In order for the game to ahead as scheduled, the Rebels will need either the bubble to reopen on Friday night or get a travel exemption from the New Zealand government.
Four community cases were reported by Australian authorities on Monday night, but the cluster had grown to nine active cases by Tuesday evening.
The Rebels were in New Zealand this past weekend to lose 35-13 to the Hurricanes in Wellington, but returned home on Saturday after playing on Friday night.
Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson told AAP they had planned a cross-border dash to get out of Victoria and stay in Sydney before heading to Queenstown on Friday as planned, but the logistics involved in a short time frame meant it wasn’t possible.
‘We will now fly out on Saturday which is a day later than scheduled but we’re still confident we will be able to play,’ Stephenson told AAP.
‘If things worsen and the bubble isn’t reinstated then we will look to get some kind of travel exemption … so we will see how the week plays out.’
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