England and Australia’s third Ashes Test WILL go ahead as planned as both teams receive a full round of negative Covid-19 results ahead of the third day in Melbourne
The Boxing Day Ashes Test will go ahead as planned after both teams received a full round of negative Covid-19 results ahead of the third day in Melbourne.
The match, and the remainder of the series, was plunged into doubt after news that the virus had made its way into England’s wider travelling group but a full round of PCR testing was completed on Monday night with no further positives.
A statement issued by Cricket Australia read: ‘Players from the Australian and England teams all had PCR Covid-19 Tests after play yesterday and all results have come back negative.
‘The families of both sets of players also had PCR tests yesterday and all returned a negative test.
‘The England team’s support staff and their family members who tested positive after PCR tests yesterday are in isolation. Play in the third Vodafone men’s Ashes Test match resumes at the MCG at 10.30am today.’
It is understood the touring camp has a total of six coronavirus cases – with three of the backroom team and three travelling family members now confirmed carriers.
Testing is likely to continue at an increased-rate now, with the family group due – following the squad – to take follow-up tests on Tuesday.
The current Ashes schedule remains unchanged – with the New Year’s Test in Sydney set to begin on January 5th, followed by the series finale in Hobart from January 14.
Both teams are due to share a charter flight from Melbourne to New South Wales at the conclusion of the current match and will have exclusive access to a hotel in Sydney.
There are likely to be ongoing discussions between the respective boards’ governing restrictions around player movement, with protocols currently at ‘level 4’ which stops short of a dreaded ‘bubble’ environment but does not allow individuals to eat or shop indoors.