Scarlets flying back from South Africa as Cardiff Rugby stay put with suspected Omicron case
The Scarlets rugby team have confirmed that the travelling squad and staff are currently flying from South Africa to Europe.
The news comes after Cardiff Rugby revealed that they having to stay in South Africa after two members of staff tested positive with Covid-19, one suspected to be carrying the new Omicron variant.
The two sides had been due to play United Rugby Championship fixtures in the country but attempted to return home as soon as South Africa was placed on the ‘red list’ by the UK Government.
In a statement, the Scarlets said that they had been working closely with the United Rugby Championship and Welsh Rugby Union over the last few days and would like to thank the South African authorities for their assistance in helping facilitate their departure.
“The Scarlets would also like to say a huge thanks to the management and staff at the Capital Pearls in Umhlanga, Durban for all their help and understanding over the last few days and in particular Kubaan, who has been looking after our security and our liaison officer Bert, who has also been assisting the travelling party,” they said.
“The squad, who travelled from Durban to Cape Town on Saturday, are all well, in good spirits and have been following all Covid protocols and guidance.”
Cardiff Rugby said earlier that they had been unable to depart South Africa following two positive cases of Covid-19 among the staff.
They said in a statement that the travelling party had hoped to depart Cape Town this afternoon, after a charter plane was secured. However PCR tests undertaken last night have returned two positive results.
“As a consequence of one of these results suspected of being Omicron, the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate,” they said.
“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with the South African Rugby Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and public health authorities both at home and abroad to decide the next course of action.
“The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate.
“Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes.”
Both Cardiff and the Scarlets have missed the 4am Sunday deadline to avoid having to isolate in a hotel for 10 days on their return from South Africa.
From 4am today, travellers entering the UK from South Africa had to go straight into a 10-day hotel quarantine.
Cardiff were set to host Toulouse, while the Scarlets are meant to travel to Bristol, in less than two weeks’ time, but the isolation periods may now mean that the teams cannot train together.