Wellington Phoenix cleared to travel to Australia for A-League resumption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Wellington Phoenix have been cleared to travel from New Zealand to Australia to begin preparations for the resumption of the A-League in July, the team said on Friday.

The Phoenix had been waiting for clearance from Australia's government to base themselves in Sydney for the final six rounds, which will resume on July 17 and be wrapped up by the end of August.

"It's huge for us to see that the season can resume," Phoenix general manager David Dome said in a statement on Friday.

"This is the best outcome for the fans, sponsors, players and everyone involved in football across Australia and New Zealand."

Phoenix are third on the A-League ladder after competition was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The team will leave New Zealand on Saturday, and will spend 14 days in quarantine in Sydney, although they will be allowed to train in isolation.

New Zealand media reported on Friday that six players were already in Australia, while two others were en route from Mexico and Britain.

A total of 24 players will be based in Australia for the duration of the league schedule.

It is the second time this season the team will have been in quarantine in Australia, having travelled across the Tasman Sea in March before returning to New Zealand shortly before the league was suspended and both borders closed.

Players and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and they will be checked regularly in isolation and throughout the rest of the season.