Any lingering threat of England’s white-ball tour of South Africa becoming a casualty of a Covid-19 outbreak in the home camp appeared to be removed on Thursday when the latest round of testing provided completely negative results.
The results from a fourth and final set of tests, ahead of the first Twenty20 international at Newlands on Friday, are expected on Thursday evening.
The two Proteas players who tested positive last week were not part of the tested group and remain in isolation.
The latest round of coronavirus testing provided completely negative results for England
But the all-clear for the rest of the squad will see them revert to full use of the luxury Cape Town hotel both teams are sharing.
So desperate were Cricket South Africa to reassure the touring England team that they would not be exposed to coronavirus in the wake of a second of their own players testing positive last week that they imposed no-go areas within the accommodation.
The South Africans handed over exclusive access to the hotel’s gym and swimming pool to Eoin Morgan’s men and even resorted to using staff entrances and fire escapes instead of the usual doors and corridors to avoid any contact with their opponents.
The results from a fourth and final set of Covid-19 tests are expected on Thursday evening
England will also return to the Cape Town hotel that they are sharing with South Africa
One player who has left South Africa’s bubble, however, is Dwaine Pretorius. The all-rounder has been ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury picked up in practice but will not be replaced in the squad.
Meanwhile, Morgan does not envisage bio-secure life for England players ending before the start of the 2021 home summer despite signs that some aspects of society will be getting back towards normality in the new year.
‘Given the news about the vaccine, it’s going to be a considerable amount of time before the people who need it get it, and just because it is available to you it doesn’t mean you should necessarily have it. We are in that position,’ Morgan said.
‘We are well down the pecking order of people who should be prioritised – certainly within the first six months.’
Dwaine Pretorius has been left out of South Africa’s bubble due to a a hamstring injury