Unvaccinated Canberra Raiders Players Face COVID-19 Separation From Shocked Teammates | Canberra Times

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Any unvaccinated Canberra Raiders are facing separation from those who have had jabs, despite the ACT government choosing against creating a two-class society in the capital. They also face having their salaries reduced if they are unable to travel to games in places like Melbourne, where the Victorian government has currently required professional athletes to be fully vaccinated in order to train or play in the state. But Rugby League Players’ Association chief executive Clint Newton warned that NRL clubs are looking to fire unvaccinated players or staff as the landscape could look completely different when the season starts in March. The AFL has made vaccination mandatory for all players and football staff, with clubs allowed to cut salaries for anyone who refuses to get a jab at 25 percent of the minimum wage or fire them in mid-May. Newton said similar structures to the AFL could be adopted for the NRL, though he hoped there was no need to fire players. He declined to say how many Raiders players were unvaccinated, but said there was good coverage throughout the NRL. Raiders star Josh Papalii has previously said he would not be vaccinated while he and Joe Tapine had medical exemptions from receiving the flu shot last year. “Something that’s in place right now may not be in three months,” Newton said. “That’s why we sometimes try to slow down the decision-making process, because in the event that something changes before the start of the season, but still a club may have chosen to dismiss a player – it may not have been necessary.” MORE RAIDERS NEWS NRL Apollo protocols take effect on November 3 with different for vaccinated and unvaccinated. Vaccinated raiders must adhere to the ACT Health guidelines, which included wearing masks indoors – except when exercising – and adhere to the square footage rules. Anyone who has not been vaccinated will need to undergo symptom and temperature checks when they arrive, and may need to use separate bathrooms and use only certain areas on Raiders HQ. This is in stark contrast to the ACT, where vaccination rates are so high (92.3 percent) that the government has opted out of imposing restrictions on unvaccinated people. “At the moment, we are not suggesting that there are any cuts in player contracts, but you have to assume that it will all be part of the discussion about how it affects clubs and players,” Newton said. “Depending on how many games they are unavailable, where they play, we just have to find a position.”



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