Sri Lanka vs England – England “indifferent” to positive Covid tests from hotel staff

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England “are the most docile team in world cricket”, says team spokesman

England management insisted it was “not concerned” despite two staff at their hotel in Galle testing positive for Covid-19.

The English camp was told on Friday morning that two staff, both of whom work in the hotel’s kitchen, had tested positive for the virus in tests carried out on Thursday. Neither has reportedly been in direct contact with the players and, in the last round of testing on the touring group on Tuesday, there were no new positive tests.

The next round of testing is currently scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, although it is possible that they will be advanced in light of this development. The Sri Lankan team is staying at another hotel.

England has abandoned its last two tours – to Sri Lanka in March and South Africa in December – due to security concerns linked to the pandemic. In South Africa, the tour appears to have lost confidence in protocols after hotel staff tested positive.

England has appointed a Covid compliance officer ahead of this tour and, as a result, appears to have more confidence in the security measures in place.

“We are not worried,” said a spokesperson for the England team. “Our protocols have been excellent and we continue to be vigilant.

“We are the most compliant team in world cricket. We are the only international team in all sports to have a Covid Compliance Officer. He is responsible for ensuring that we meet the highest standards in the world. all of our Covid protocols.We remain vigilant and respectful of the Sri Lankan authorities and will do our utmost to ensure the safety of our players and the general public.

“We are vigilant around our team base in Galle and at the stadium. Players respect social distancing, wear masks indoors and at the hotel dine at individual tables.

“Our Covid Compliance Officer briefs players and management on a daily basis and communicates the latest developments in both Sri Lanka and the UK. “

It is understood that the West Indies also took a “Covid Security and Compliance Officer” on their tour of Bangladesh.

Despite England’s success in the early days of the series, for a man the tour has been miserable to this day. Moeen Ali, who tested positive for the virus when he arrived in Sri Lanka, has now been isolated for 12 days and is still not sure when he will be released. Having experienced mild symptoms early in his isolation, he is now considered to be in good health and has tested negative for the virus at least once.

“Moeen Ali, who tested positive when we arrived in Sri Lanka, has been in isolation for 12 days in separate accommodation,” the spokesperson said. “He remains isolated in a different hotel from the team in Galle.

“He continues to receive treatment from the medical teams in Sri Lanka and England and will return to the team as soon as it is safe to do so. We have yet to receive a date.”

George Dobell is Senior Correspondent at ESPNcricinfo


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