Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Seventh Pakistan cricketer tests COVID-positive in New Zealand, team flouts social distancing protocol

A seventh Pakistan cricketer tested positive for COVID-19 as the team remained confined to their hotel in Christchurch on Saturday, unable to train and with a question mark over their New Zealand tour.

The Pakistan team, which arrived four days ago, are on a ‘final warning’ for breaching new Zealand’s strict quarantine restrictions, with the growing number of coronavirus cases adding pressure to preparations for their opening match on December 18. Despite all members of the squad returning negative tests before flying to New Zealand, six came up positive after testing on day one in the country.

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The ministry said exemptions allowing teams to train while in managed isolation “are very difficult to obtain” and Pakistan’s exemption was put on hold after several players were caught flouting social distancing protocols inside the quarantine hotel.

New Zealand’s director-general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said Thursday that breaches of the rules were taken very seriously and the Pakistan team “as a whole has been issued with a final warning”.

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