The British & Irish Lions have been hit by a positive test for Covid-19, jeopardizing Wednesday night’s game against the Sharks and raising even more questions about the rest of the South African tour.
A member of the tourist staff has registered a positive result after a lateral flow test and that they and four others, including two players, have been forced to isolate themselves. The Lions are awaiting the results of more tests before making a call about the game against the Sharks, but the start time has already been delayed by an hour until 7pm BST.
The announcement came shortly after confirmation that South Africa’s match against Georgia on Friday is canceled following the Covid-19 outbreaks in both camps. The Lions’ game against the Bulls, scheduled for Saturday, has already been postponed and there are now considerable doubts about whether the test series against the Springboks, which begins July 24, will take place.
“We have followed all necessary precautions since the start of the Tour, including regular testing and rigorous protocols and planning for Covid-19 countermeasures,” said Ben Calveley, Managing Director of British & Irish Lions. “Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of the entire tour, so we quickly isolate the players and staff upon receiving the news of the positive result.
“Subsequently, all have undergone lateral flow tests and PCR. The group of medical advisers awaits the results of the PCR test to make a decision on tonight’s game. The five affected individuals will be closely monitored during isolation and will receive the best possible medical care while we await the results of their PCR tests. There will be more updates in due course. “