Ashes: MCG Test continues after England and Australia test negative for Covid-19

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The Third Ashes Test at the MCG will continue as scheduled today after both Australia and England’s squads returned negative Covid-19 tests.

On Monday it emerged that four members of England’s party, which contains close to 70 people now with players, support staff and families on tour around Christmas, had tested positive in Melbourne. This delayed the start of play, and led to both camps being PCR tested.

Those tests did reveal that England’s spread had increased by two, with six people now positive (three support staff, three family members), but the playing staff were unaffected and the game was cleared to continue.

England return on the third day in a perilous position, having lost their first four second innings wickets and still sitting 51 runs behind Australia. Once more, their hopes lie with Joe Root.

The whole group – players, staff and families – will be tested again later today to determine what happens next.

The tour is set to head to Sydney for the Fourth Test on January 5, then Hobart for the Fifth on January 14. The lighter restrictions on close contacts in Melbourne have allowed this Test to continue despite the positives and there could be changes to protocols or even the schedule to ensure the series can continue.

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