Ashes: England return another round of negative Covid-19 tests as show rolls on

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England’s cricketers and coaching staff returned a full round of negative Covid-19 tests shortly after Australia completed an Ashes mauling at the MCG, meaning the series can cautiously continue as scheduled.

England suffered a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp when a family member on tour with the team tested positive on the second morning of the Third Test in Melbourne. All players were tested that morning, allowing the game to proceed with a 30-minute delay, then again that evening, with all players’ tests returning negative.

The number of positives did swell to six, with three family members and three support staff testing positive and placed in isolation at the team’s Melbourne hotel.

When the Test concluded staggeringly early – Australia recorded an innings victory before lunch on day three – the whole England party were tested again. All tests came back negative.

While there will be further testing each day the team are in Melbourne, this is news that should provide cautious optimism that the final two Tests in Sydney and Hobart can go ahead as scheduled with a full-strength England side taking the field.

England will travel to Sydney, where Covid-19 rates are higher, on New Year’s Eve, with the Fourth Test beginning on January 5. Some family members will leave Australia in the coming days, slimming the touring party.

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