English cricket team arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday to resume a series of Test as South Asia battled a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases.
Joe Root’s team will enter a safe haven when it arrives two days after authorities deployed senior military officers to help contain coronavirus cases.
Sri Lanka is one of the countries most affected but the death toll has risen from 13 in early October to 208 on Saturday. The WHO has suspected a new strain of the virus that may have originated in Scandinavia.
The country had six reported cases when England abruptly withdrew from their trip during a pre-match match in March. They returned to an island that now has some 44,000 diseases.
England postponed another trip to South Africa last month since the number of Covid-19 cases made players feel uncomfortable.
But the two tests in Galle will be played under strict health regulations, cricket officials have said.
England will be allowed to enter Sri Lanka in spite of the ban on all flights and passengers from Britain following the discovery of a new type of coronavirus.
Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Ashley de Silva said England were allowed to enter on the grounds that they would be tested and certified for the virus before leaving.
England will face up to 10 days in solitary confinement in a “safe bubble” and tested more frequently.
The English cricket board has confirmed that their players and support staff have been tested before leaving.
De Silva said the English team would arrive by plane and landed at Rajapaksa International, an airport that could be used south of the island.
The team will be taken to a nearby hotel and trained at the Hambantota Stadium in the same area.
Four days before the first Test on January 14, the team will be driven to Galle, which is 125 kilometers (78 miles) away, to train on the beachfront alongside the colonial castle.
Spectators are not allowed in these two trials, but the Dutch Fort issues provide an idea of what is happening on the field. The second test will take place on January 22.