‘Sacred’ Sydney Test to go ahead as planned: NSW health minister

The upcoming Sydney Test in the Ashes series is “sacred” and will go ahead as planned, New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard assured on Tuesday, saying players’ health safety will not be compromised amidst rising Covid-19 cases in the state.

The fourth Ashes Test is scheduled to begin at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from January 5.

According to the Covid-19 regulations in New South Wales, it is mandatory to spend seven days in isolation if anyone is found to be a close contact of a positive case.

Over 6000 cases were registered on Monday in NSW, which has witnessed a rise in infections.

However, Hazzard assured that he will work with the health authorities so that the match goes ahead as planned.

“The SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) Test is sacred, an important date at the start of the third year of our life with Covid-19,” Hazzard said in a statement.

“I want to assure the cricket-loving public, under our rules any players with exposure to a known case of Covid-19 would be asked to test and isolate only until a negative result was received.

“If there are any cases within the teams, their support staff, or families, we will work with the people involved to ensure they are safe, and there is as little disruption to others as possible.” The third Test in Melbourne was thrown into chaos on Monday after two members of England’s support staff and two of their family members tested positive for Covid-19 and were placed in isolation.

However, members of the English team and the management returned with negative results in rapid antigen tests and were allowed to head to the ground as Australia notched up an innings and 14 runs win to claim the Ashes urn in record time.

The subsequent RT-PCR tests for the Australia and England teams also came negative.

Australia have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.

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