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England are confident their tour of Sri Lanka next month will proceed as intended despite the new coronavirus variant which has been identified in the UK.
The new strain is said to be 70% more transmissible, but it is understood the latest talks between the countries’ boards have been positive, and England still plan to set off for Hambantota on 2 January.
While the Sri Lanka government has suspended commercial flights arriving into the country from the UK, England are travelling on a privately chartered plane and are therefore not subject to the ban. Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, England will go through a quarantine period at Hambantota, although they will be able to train outside before heading for Galle, where the two-Test series will be held, starting on 14 January.
Players and staff travelling to Sri Lanka have been made aware of their responsibilities over the festive period, but it is understood no directives have been issued about seeing family on Christmas Day for those in the tier 1, 2 or 3 regions.
The Sri Lanka-England series, which is part of the World Test Championship, was supposed to take place in March this year but was abandoned midway through the tourists’ warm-up game in Colombo amid the escalating situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: England confident UK Covid spike will not halt new year tour of Sri Lanka | England cricket team