AFL PLAYERS are seeking greater clarity on a COVID-19 protocol based on their "intimate" partners.
St Kilda midfielder Jack Billings discussed the unusual guideline on radio station SEN on Tuesday morning, saying it was an amusing talking point among footballers, including his housemate Ben Paton.
The Saints have undergone education sessions around the protocols in recent days, while every club must appoint a compliance manager whose responsibility it is to uphold the integrity rules.
"I am familiar with it. I'm lucky, or fortunate, I've got Sarah, my partner, living with me, so that's all good from a personal point of view," Billings said of the intimacy clause.
"But my housemate is single, so he's a bit unsure of what the next few weeks and months might look like.
"Basically, you can't have people around to your place unless you're in an intimate relationship with them, so a few players are trying to specify what that actually means and get some clarity around it."
Melbourne players Jake Lever and James Harmes could also see the amusing side, but understood why the rule was implemented.
"I did see that on the news this morning," Lever said at a media conference on Tuesday.
"It doesn't really affect me, as I said, I've got a little baby at home and I've got a wife, so lucky for me I'm pretty happy, but the single boys, there have been a few murmurs around that they're really disappointed,"
"But, look, it's really important to make sure the whole industry is really safe. There are 1300 people or close to who are going to be in contact with all the players and the players included in that, so I think it's really important we follow these rules and whenever the AFLPA and the AFL look to these rules again, if we can restrict them or get rid of some of them, that would be great."
That is just one of the many protocols in place, with non-contact training in groups of eight returning on Monday ahead of full contact next week and the resumption of games on June 11.
Teams are also preparing to fly in and out of interstate venues on the same day, rather than arriving a day or more in advance.
Billings also revealed he had spoken to former teammate Jack Steven since he was hospitalised in the early hours of Sunday morning with a stab wound to his chest.
"I think as a friend and former teammate, you just think of his health and safety first and foremost and hope he's doing OK," Billings said.
"He's got great support around him; an amazing family, a great group of mates – many guys we both played with at the club – and obviously the support down at the Cats.
"I just hope he can get better and recover fully and play some footy this year."