AFL PLAYERS have been given the all-clear to surf, play golf and tennis and to go fishing, after the game's controlling body eased restrictions relating to COVID-19.

Following a countrywide relaxation by state governments of social regulations, the AFL informed its clubs on Monday of the changes.

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Players and club staff have also been given conditional permission to visit the homes of immediate family and fellow teammates.

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The AFL also increased from eight to nine the number of players allowed to gather in groups at training.

Four players – Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Essendon), Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide), and Melbourne duo Charlie Spargo and Kysaiah Pickett were last week sanctioned by the AFL for breaching COVID-19 protocols.

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AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said the overall commitment of players to adhere to restrictions over and above the general public had allowed the relaxation to be effected.

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"I would like to thank all the players and match day officials for their commitment that afforded the competition the opportunity for football to return," Dillon said in a memo circulated to clubs and players.

"In line with state governments easing restrictions across the states, we, in conjunction with the AFLPA and medical officers, taken the first step to ease the AFL's return to play protocols and we thank the governments and the chief health officers for their support and guidance.

"While the protocols are, in areas, still stronger than the broader community, the competition is able to participate in elite contact sport before the rest of the country, so we must all continue to ensure they are abided by."