Following talks with clubs, broadcast partners and other stakeholders, Peter V'landys, chair of the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) said the league would return as a 20-run competition. The original schedule was before the play-offs, for 25 rounds.
"Today is a landmark rugby league day in the year 2020," said V'landys. "This is a great result for our players, fans, partners and stakeholders and I am extremely grateful for the cooperation and support from (Nine CEO) Hugh Marks and (Foxtel CEO) Patrick Delany.
"The two have always acted in a good spirit and shown how partners work together."
Players are due to return to training on May 4 under strict hygiene regulations, while on Sunday the New Zealand Warriors will travel to Australia before spending 14 days in Tamworth quarantine.
V'landys added: "It's safer to play now than we were playing in round two. New South Wales' daily infection rate was 25.79 per cent when the last game was played.
"For the last 18 days, it has been less than one percent in NSW and continues to fall. There has also been a significant improvement in the recovery rate, with 75 percent in NSW and 83 percent in Australia. 'Our players will be safer under our protocols than they would be as regular members of the community.'
But while the league was looking for a way out of the current lockdown, it was forced to act after some players over the weekend breached regulations.
Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Tyronne Roberts-Davis all face fines after receiving notices of breach for discrediting the game, but will not miss any time to play with proposed one-match bans suspended for the rest of the season. Before final punishments are set the players have five days to respond.