England squad clear of COVID-19 as they prepare to leave South Africa

By Rob Lancaster 8 December 2020 4
England squad clear of COVID-19 as they prepare to leave South Africa

England will fly back from South Africa on Thursday after the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the white-ball squad were cleared.

The one-day series against the Proteas was initially delayed and then cancelled due to positive tests within the bio-secure bubble.

A South African player and two hotel staff members were discovered to have coronavirus, forcing games scheduled for last Friday and Sunday to be postponed respectively, while there were also a pair of "unconfirmed positives" among the touring party.

However, following further testing and analysis, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed the individuals are not infected and no longer need to self-isolate.

"Following the independent ratification of the two unconfirmed positive COVID-19 tests from the England camp in South Africa, 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," ECB Chief Medical Officer Professor Nick 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. The England party, returning to the UK, will depart Cape Town on Thursday morning."

England and South Africa did play in three Twenty20 matches prior to the scheduled 50-over games, the tourists sweeping the series 3-0.

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