There's growing concerns the NRL bubble could continue beyond the 2020 season as the second wave of the coronavirus continues to reshape Australia.
The ACT government announced on Thursday they will keep the 1500 crowd limit for Canberra Raiders games at Canberra Stadium for at least another two weeks, which will continue to cost the Green Machine up to $400,000 per home game.
The news comes as the Raiders prepared to face the ladder-leading Penrith Panthers at Penrith on Saturday night.
Raiders chief executive Don Furner, who helped create the Project Apollo biosecurity measures that allowed the NRL to resume playing, felt the players would be allowed out of the bubble for their annual leave before potentially returning to it for the 2021 pre-season.
The Raiders players have been in the bubble since May, although they did enjoy a brief period when their restrictions were relaxed slightly to allow them to attend restaurants and cafes - as well as have people over to their houses.
But they're back to a lockdown where they can only leave the house to train, play or receive treatment, or do essential shopping.
That looks likely to continue for the rest of this season and could potentially extend into 2021 as well.
The Raiders have allowed co-captain Josh Hodgson (knee) and winger Bailey Simonsson (shoulder) to exit the bubble as they recover from long-term injuries.
Furner said the landscape was so fluid it was impossible to know what could happen later in the year.
"We're still back in this strict bubble now. It will probably be with us for the rest of the year the way things are going," he said.
"We've just got to deal with it.
"They haven't come and given us protocols for that yet, but ... I doubt whether they would have to comply during their eight-week break. But I don't know."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman will review the 1500 cap in two weeks.
It means the Raiders will continue to experience losses for every home game, with their next one against the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday week.
With tickets selling only to members for a maximum of $20 it means ticket sales are worth less than $30,000.
Furner was unsure how much they were losing for each home clash, but estimated it at $300,000-$400,000 for games without crowds back in March.
Canberra has four more home games for the remainder of the regular season, before hopefully also hosting finals.
"Massive loss ... we know it's going to be a loss. We are getting some help from the NRL on ground-hire fees and we've sat down with the government and they've been good," Furner said.
"But at the end of the day to open a big stadium like that costs money and 1500 people doesn't come close to covering it. It's just what we have to do."
NRL ROUND 13
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Penrith Panthers at Penrith Stadium, 7.35pm.
Raiders team: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Jordan Rapana, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Nick Cotric, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. George Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Hudson Young. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joe Tapine, 16. Ryan Sutton, 17. Corey Harawira-Naera. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Michael Oldfield, 20. Kai O'Donnell, 21. Matt Frawley.
Panthers team: 1. Caleb Aekins, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Brent Naden, 4. Stephen Critchton, 5. Malakai Watene-Zeleniak, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Api Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Viliame Kikai, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaac Yeo. Interchange: 14. Tyrone May, 15. Spencer Leniu, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Zane Tetevano. Reserves: 18. Mitch Kenny, 19. Matt Burton, 20. Billy Burns, 21. Daine Laurie.