GEELONG will enter hard quarantine on Monday night in the hope of winning clearance to fly into Adelaide on Thursday for its qualifying final against Port Adelaide on Friday.
It comes as the Cats, and this weekend's other travelling teams who have been based in Victoria, prepare for an extended stint on the road during finals given the COVID-19 uncertainty.
AFL GM of broadcasting and clubs Travis Auld also indicated the four teams bound for Launceston – Sydney, GWS, Western Bulldogs and Essendon – could be based in Tasmania beyond their matches with a semi-final next weekend on the Apple Isle a possibility.
Under South Australian government requirements, teams entering Adelaide must complete 60 hours of hard quarantine before landing and passing a negative COVID-19 test. During their quarantine period they are given only one reason to leave home – to attend training.
Meetings between the AFL, SA health officials and Melbourne and Geelong are expected on Monday afternoon to confirm travel plans ahead of this weekend's matches in Adelaide.
Cats players, coaches and staff completed hard quarantine ahead of their round 13 win over Port Adelaide from Monday night before flying on Thursday afternoon ahead of the match that night. While waiting for their negative COVID-19 tests they were required to isolate in the nearby Adelaide Oval cricket nets.
This time around, they'll start hard quarantine on Monday night ahead of the Friday match, hoping to fly on Thursday to begin early preparations from the team hotel.
Those who live alone, with teammates or with family members and housemates who will also be able to abide by the conditions will be able to stay at home during the 60-hour window.
However, those who live with partners, children or housemates who will operate outside of their home bubble – including a large portion of the coaching staff – will go to a local Geelong hotel.
"Probably the only thing we are hopeful for is to try and get in (to Adelaide) the night before," captain Joel Selwood told K rock on Monday morning.
"During the year when we went to Adelaide, we had to do it all in a day and it was a huge effort … we sat in these cricket rooms that had no fresh air, we slept under tables.
"What we do know is there will be an isolation period where if we're at training, that's the only place we can go. There and home and not mix with anyone."
Zach Tuohy is racing to the clock to recover from his hamstring injury in time to face the Power, while Mitch Duncan is at least another week away from returning from his PCL setback.
Should Melbourne follow a similar timeline to the Cats, they would enter hard quarantine on Tuesday night ahead of a Friday flight before facing Brisbane on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.
South Australia's border to Queensland is currently not as rigid as Victoria, with the Lions preparing to fly on Friday. They are expecting to learn more about their exact travel plans on Monday afternoon.