England cricket COVID-19 suspects cleared to return home from South Africa

  • Agence France-Presse
  • December 8th, 2020
  • 19:16:37 IST

The two members of England’s cricket touring party who tested positive for COVID-19 have been cleared to return home with the rest of the tourists on Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after a one-day series against South Africa was scrapped without a single game being played.

The decision to call off the tour followed apparent breaches of the bio-secure environment at the hotel in Cape Town where both teams were staying.

England and South Africa did play three T20 matches before the Covid-19 outbreak, without problems.

ECB chief medical officer, Professor Nick Peirce, said independent ratification of the "unconfirmed positive" tests had shown the two unnamed individuals were not infected.

"The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that, following further testing and analysis, in the opinion of the independent virologists based in Cape Town and London, the two individuals are not infected, and do not pose any risk of passing on the infection to the rest of the party," Professor Peirce said in a statement.

"As such, the advice is they are now free to join the rest of the group and are no longer self-isolating."

It has never been confirmed whether the two individuals concerned were England players or backroom staff.

The tour was cancelled - although officially both the ECB and Cricket South Africa have said they will seek alternative dates - "to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams," both bodies said in a joint statement Monday.

Updated Date: December 08, 2020 19:16:37 IST

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