That’s based on the latest border advice from the Victorian state government, which will shift both south east Queensland and Townsville onto its red zone list as of 1am tomorrow.
The move is a response to three COVID-19 outbreaks in the Sunshine State that have plunged the likes of Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville into a snap three-day lockdown.
Under Victoria’s traffic light system, new arrivals from red zones would be required to self-quarantine for 14 days and present for COVID-19 tests within 72 hours of arriving and again on Day 13.
To avoid the quarantine requirement Townsville – and potentially Brisbane, which is a common transit hub between Melbourne and far north Queensland – would need to move back to at least an orange zone rating before July 11.
Teams would likely need assurances well before that, too, with transporters needing to cross the border by mid-next week by the latest to make it to Townsville on time.
There are six teams based in Melbourne, namely Walkinshaw Andretti United, Kelly Grove Racing, Tickford Racing, Team 18, Erebus Motorsport and the Blanchard Racing Team.
Risking a 14-day quarantine would likely be a tough sell to those teams, given they’ve already done the heavy lifting when it comes to dealing with border closures since the pandemic began.
They spent more than 100 days on the road to make sure last season went ahead, as Melbourne dealt with a deadly second wave that ran from July until October.
The Melbourne teams were then forced on the road again for two weeks earlier this month amid another outbreak in the Victorian capital, to ensure the Darwin Triple Crown could go ahead.