England were due to start training in Hambantota on Tuesday ahead of their upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. But the session was delayed and players were left isolated in their rooms after Moeen Ali tested positive for COVID-19.
The players and coaching staff are now awaiting the results of their latest round of COVID-19 tests, which are set to be announced on Wednesday.
The players and staff underwent lateral flow and PCR tests on Tuesday. The former gives results in around 30 minutes, while the latter takes more time but provides more certainty. The lateral flow test results will not be made public. The players will once again be tested on Thursday.
If none of the other players test positive, they will likely be free to begin training and acclimatisation work for the Test series against Sri Lanka. But if more players return positive tests, those in charge will have to make some logistical decisions.
The entire touring party had tested negative for COVID-19 before flying to Sri Lanka. However, Moeen Ali returned a positive test upon arrival in the subcontinent. It is not yet known whether the all-rounder contacted the new and more transmissible strain of the virus.
England bowler Chris Woakes placed in quarantine for a week
It is being reported in England that Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes traveled together in the same car from Birmingham to Heathrow airport. As a result, the fast bowler has been put in quarantine for seven days.
The players observed social distancing during the flight, so it is unlikely that Moeen Ali would have been in contact with any of the other players. He is not experiencing any symptoms at this stage, but will likely have to miss the first Test at the very least.
The first Test between England and Sri Lanka is due to begin on January 14 at the Galle International Stadium.Published 05 Jan 2021, 19:48 IST