Rugby-Welsh, Irish clubs in South Africa face quarantine, fixture disruption

Cardiff, Scarlets and Munster face quarantine and fixture disruption as they remained stuck in South Africa, hoping to leave this weekend despite travel bans imposed after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant. Direct flights from South Africa to Britain were halted on Friday and travellers from southern Africa arriving in Britain and European Countries face onerous quarantine restrictions as part of steps to avoid the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus detected this week.


Reuters | Updated: 27-11-2021 16:37 IST | Created: 27-11-2021 16:33 IST
Rugby-Welsh, Irish clubs in South Africa face quarantine, fixture disruption
Representative Image Image Credit: pixabay

Cardiff, Scarlets and Munster face quarantine and fixture disruption as they remained stuck in South Africa, hoping to leave this weekend despite travel bans imposed after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

Direct flights from South Africa to Britain were halted on Friday and travellers from southern Africa arriving in Britain and European Countries face onerous quarantine restrictions as part of steps to avoid the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus detected this week. The two Welsh clubs are unlikely to beat the Sunday deadline, set by the UK government on travellers from South Africa, to avoid hotel quarantine.

They had tried to charter a flight home on Friday but were refused permission by the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority, Cardiff and Scarlets said. Cardiff said their players remained in good spirits at their Cape Town base while efforts to repatriate them were continuing.

Scarlets said their players had returned negative tests but were following strict COVID-19 protocols. Munster's players will have to isolate at home for 10 days once they return to Ireland, where quarantine regulations are less restrictive, but all three teams face a knock-on effect with their fixtures.

They have European Rugby Champions Cup clashes scheduled for Dec. 11-12, which will be under threat if their players are in quarantine for 10 days. Cardiff host holders Toulouse on Dec. 11 with Scarlets at Bristol Bears the same day and Munster playing Wasps on Dec. 12.

"Priority number one is to get the process underway and then we'll have to deal with the consequences," Scarlets chairman Simon Muderack said. The three clubs, along with Italy's Zebre, were in South Africa for matches in the United Rugby Championship over the next two weekends, which have since been postponed. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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