‘England cricketers exempt from UK travel ban’

COLOMBO: The England team will be allowed to fly to Sri Lanka despite flights from Britain being suspen­ded because of a new coronavirus strain, the island’s cricket authorities said on Wednesday.

England are due to arrive in Sri Lanka on Jan 3 for two Tests — played without spectators — in Galle starting on Jan 14.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief executive Ashley de Silva said the visitors would be tested for Covid-19 before departure and on arrival, and would also have to und­ergo quarantine for 10-days in a ‘bio-secure bubble’.

The team would travel to Sri Lanka on a chartered flight, he said.

“Our doctors have been talking to the England team’s doctors and they are quite satisfied with the arrangements,” de Silva said. “Both teams are looking forward to the series.”

Sri Lanka is among the countries which have banned commercial flights from Britain but Joe Root and his team-mates are set to arrive by chartered flight to play the matches in Galle from Jan 14.

“Yes, anxiety is high at this stage from everybody. But when you look at the scientific evidence, I don’t think we should stop it,” SLC physician Daminda Attan­ayake was quoted as saying.

Part of the World Test Championship, the series was originally scheduled in March but had to be postponed following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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