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AFL stars make tearful farewells to loved ones as they're forced into month-long interstate quarantine hubs to dodge coronavirus raging in the Melbourne

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6/07/2020 Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia

AFL stars have said goodbye to their loved ones in emotional airport scenes, as they fled Victoria for quarantine hubs to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.

All ten Victorian clubs will spend at least 32 days interstate as their home state battles a second wave of the virus.

The embattled state recorded 127 new infections on Monday, as well as two deaths in 24 hours.

Melbourne Demons and Geelong Cats players left on Sunday night bound for Sydney, and were seen kissing and hugging loved ones.

A number of players will spend at four weeks separated from their families, with Demons Alex Neal-Bullen and Sam Weideman among those spotted at Melbourne Airport in romantic farewells.

a man standing in front of a car: Melbourne Demons star Sam Weideman (pictured on Sunday) farewells his girlfriend before heading to Sydney © Provided by Daily Mail Melbourne Demons star Sam Weideman (pictured on Sunday) farewells his girlfriend before heading to Sydney a man standing in front of a car: Demons teammate Alex Neal-Bullen (pictured) was also seen farewelling his partner in emotional scenes at Melbourne Airport © Provided by Daily Mail Demons teammate Alex Neal-Bullen (pictured) was also seen farewelling his partner in emotional scenes at Melbourne Airport

Several Melbourne-based teams also flew out on Monday, including reigning premiers Richmond Tigers, Essendon Bombers, Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne Kangaroos. 

The Essendon and North Melbourne squads touched down on the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon.

A host of stars who couldn't bear the thought of being apart from their young families for so long have been joined by their partners and children in the quarantine hubs.

They include Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin, Bulldogs' Josh Bruce, Jason Johannisen and Tom Liberatore and North Melbourne stars Ben Brown and Shaun Higgins. 

a group of people standing next to a fence: A Virgin Australia hostess greets Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin's young daughters as they board their flight headed for Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Monday (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail A Virgin Australia hostess greets Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin's young daughters as they board their flight headed for Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Monday (pictured) a group of people standing next to a fence: North Melbourne star Ben Brown (pictured in blue) leaves Melbourne with his wife Hester (wearing a backpack) and daughter Aila headed for the Gold Coast © Provided by Daily Mail North Melbourne star Ben Brown (pictured in blue) leaves Melbourne with his wife Hester (wearing a backpack) and daughter Aila headed for the Gold Coast

Tigers superstar Dustin Martin appeared to be in good spirits as he boarded the plane bound for Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Two Richmond premiership stars elected not to join the hub and will therefore be unavailable for many weeks: Bachar Houli, whose daughter was born last week, and Shaun Edwards, whose wife is heavily pregnant. 

Also seen boarding the Bombers flight was Conor McMcKenna, who tested positive after his offseason trip to his native Ireland, and will be available for selection for his first game of the season this weekend.

The Hawthorn Hawks were already in Sydney and lost to GWS Giants on Sunday.

They will remain at their hub in the beachside suburb of Coogee for at least one month.

The Demons will also remain in Sydney 

a man standing next to a boat: Bulldogs star Josh Bruce (pictured) played doting dad to daughter Poppy as they boarded the plane © Provided by Daily Mail Bulldogs star Josh Bruce (pictured) played doting dad to daughter Poppy as they boarded the plane Shaun Higgins et al. around each other: North Melbourne player Shaun Higgins (pictured) gives his daughter Rosie a piggyback after touching down on the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon © Provided by Daily Mail North Melbourne player Shaun Higgins (pictured) gives his daughter Rosie a piggyback after touching down on the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon

St Kilda and Carlton had also headed north to Noosa and the Gold Coast respectively.

Geelong will spend a week Sydney before heading west to be part of the Perth hub along with Collingwood, who will also head to Sydney first for this weekend's clash against the Hawks.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the plan was for Victorian teams to return home after living away during a stretch of 45 games in 32 days, but that could change.

a group of people looking at each other: North Melbourne player Jed Anderson (pictured) was tasking with holding precious cargo in the form of sleeping baby daughter Katerinah as he made he way through Gold Coast Airport © Provided by Daily Mail North Melbourne player Jed Anderson (pictured) was tasking with holding precious cargo in the form of sleeping baby daughter Katerinah as he made he way through Gold Coast Airport AFL superstar Dustin Martin (pictured, left) and Tigers teammate Mabior Chol (right) were in good spirits as they departed Melbourne Airport on Monday © Provided by Daily Mail AFL superstar Dustin Martin (pictured, left) and Tigers teammate Mabior Chol (right) were in good spirits as they departed Melbourne Airport on Monday

'The Victorian clubs now temporarily moving interstate are playing their part in ensuring our season endures in a year that will continue to challenge us all,' McLachlan told reporters on Friday.

'We will reassess our options depending on the COVID-19 situation across the country.

'Everyone has to shoulder the load and bear the pain ... we will work to make sure that by the end of the year it is as equitable as it can be.'

a group of people standing around a plane: Western Bulldogs star Jason Johannisen (pictured carrying baby daughter Lola) was also on dad duty while flying north on Monday © Provided by Daily Mail Western Bulldogs star Jason Johannisen (pictured carrying baby daughter Lola) was also on dad duty while flying north on Monday a group of people sitting at a train station: Essendon Bombers Conor McKenna (pictured, left) and Jayden Laverde (right) boarded their flight for the Gold Coast. McKenna could play his first game in 2020 after a coronavirus scare © Provided by Daily Mail Essendon Bombers Conor McKenna (pictured, left) and Jayden Laverde (right) boarded their flight for the Gold Coast. McKenna could play his first game in 2020 after a coronavirus scare

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