Up to 10,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the footy in Queensland stadiums from Saturday 27 June.
The move is the latest COVID-19 restriction to ease in the sunshine state, and represents things returning to a sense of normality according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"This is another small, sensible step towards getting life back to normal," says Palaszczuk.
"We can make these steps because of the outstanding way Queenslanders have united to confront COVID-19 but we are still in a pandemic so we have to keep being careful."
Health Minister Steven Miles said the increase in crowd numbers was in line with the professional codes' COVID-safe plans.
"The codes have shown they are taking COVID-safe measures seriously," the Deputy Premier said.
"Our stadiums are also taking their responsibilities seriously making it safe for more spectators enjoy their favourite games.
"The first two games welcoming smaller numbers of spectators on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium and the Gabba showed the COVID safe measures put in place work, with fans respecting the new social distancing arrangements and guidance from stadium officials and security."
Measures protecting the health of spectators include:
- Extra cleaning and sanitisation of high traffic areas such as hand-rails
- Seating plans of segmented zones
- Dedicated facilities and exits to reduce potential for virus spread.
Townsville will welcome 2,000 spectators for its home game on 27 June at QLD Country Bank Stadium.
They will be permitted to increase to 25 per cent capacity (6,359 spectators) at future games.
NRL Chairman Peter V'Landys welcomed the move.
"I want to personally thank Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for her assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rugby league is part of a Queenslander's DNA and her support has been instrumental throughout the resumption of the competition," V'Landys said.
"This is an outstanding outcome for our Queensland clubs, players and importantly Queensland fans. Queensland is rugby league heartland and we're delighted the State Government has approved the return of crowds to Queensland venues."
The easing of restrictions comes as Queensland has gone almost five days without reporting any new cases of COVID-19 in the state.
No new cases have been reported today at the time of writing, but yesterday 25 new cases were reported in Australia, with 19 of those in Victoria, five in New South Wales and one in Western Australia.
Globally the situation is a different story; there were 140,000 new cases reported yesterday, including 31,000 in the USA and 34,000 in Brazil.
There are now more than 9 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 466,000 deaths.
Updated at 9:27am AEST on 22 June 2020.
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