Coronavirus travel restrictions prompt Sussex cricketers to return to Hove early from pre-season tour
The spread of coronavirus travel restrictions has prompted Sussex County Cricket Club to plan to return to Hove early from a pre-season tour of South Africa.
The club said: “Players and staff currently in Cape Town for Sussex Cricket’s men’s pre-season tour will return to the UK on the next available flight.
“The decision to end the trip early has been made in light of increasing global travel restrictions accompanying the covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“None of the touring party are displaying symptoms associated with the virus.”
Sussex Cricket performance director Keith Greenfield said: “We have been monitoring the fast-moving situation regarding coronavirus prior to and during the tour and, with travel restrictions increasing, we’ve made the decision to return to the UK at the earliest opportunity.
“This is obviously disappointing but – as ever – the wellbeing of our players and staff is our number one priority.”
The decision was made on the weekend when all Premier League matches were postponed, including Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal.
The South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster, with 61 cases confirmed since the first case was identified on Thursday 5 March.
There have been no deaths there yet but visas are being denied to people from a number of countries, including Britain, as the South African government tries to slow the spread of the virus.