Before our NRL squad crossed the border for a week of training in Albury, they were briefed on the strict protocols they would be expected to adhere to during a biosecurity education session at AAMI Park.
The session prepared the players for measures which included daily temperature checks, movement only between designated 'clean zones' and no direct contact with anyone outside the training bubble.
Halfback Ryley Jacks said after five weeks in isolation, players were thrilled to be back on the training track and quickly embraced the new normal.
"It was pretty full on the first day we got here - staff were dressed up in high-vis vests with masks and googles on, taking our temperature and asking us questions about our health," he said, ahead of the squad's return to Melbourne tonight.
"We have all adjusted to it straight away. This is our new normal now and it's what we have to do to get back to playing footy."Ryley Jacks
Under Craig Bellamy there was no easing back into routine - training in Albury felt like any other gruelling pre-season, albeit with the squad training in smaller groups.
"It felt exactly like the start of a pre-season - which hurt because we only just finished one," Jacks said.
"Everyone came back in great shape and mentally it hasn't been quite so tough because we all know the season is only a couple of weeks away."
The 27-year-old spent his time in isolation at home in Queensland with his family.
"My wife and I made the big drive up to Brisbane to be with our families, so we got to catch up with them over the five weeks which was nice," he said.
"I've had more free time than I normally do, so like most of the boys I’ve been watching The Last Dance and The Test - the doco about the Australian cricket team."
"We had a long break after only two rounds of footy so it was important to keep training hard (in isolation) and be ready."Ryley Jacks
"We had no idea when the season was going to restart.
"You have good days and bad days, where you don't feel as motivated. On the bad days I usually try to grab someone to train with.
"I had my brother Rhys around and Welchy was up in Brisbane too, so that was lucky."
Jacks said despite the interruption to season 2020, his goals for the year hadn't changed.
"My goals are the same - I just want to be the best I can be and help the team out wherever I can."