“While the club are pleased to repatriate the individuals, they must now enter a second 10-day period of isolation at a government approved hotel, having already quarantined for 10 days at a South African Covid-19 facility.”
Last Updated: 09/12/21 7:17pm
Cardiff have begun repatriating their six remaining squad and staff members from South Africa – but they face a second 10-day period of isolation in the UK.
One player is already back in the UK while three others were in transit on Thursday evening, with the remaining two due to depart Cape Town on Friday.
The six individuals completed 10 days of quarantine at a South Africa facility after testing positive for Covid-19.
However, they must enter a second 10-day period of isolation at a UK Government-approved hotel due to South Africa being on the UK travel red list.
“Cardiff Rugby continue to work with its partners in discussing this matter with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS),” the club said in a statement.
“This is a situation which impacts hundreds of people returning from red list countries, who have already served a 10-day quarantine following a positive Covid-19 test.
“We are seeking clarification from DCMS as to why a second quarantine is required for the individuals in this unique situation.
“The main priority of Cardiff Rugby remains to support the health and wellbeing of our people and we will continue to work alongside the relevant parties to deliver the best outcome.”
Last week a travelling party of 42 returned to the UK from South Africa after returning negative PCR tests for five consecutive days.
They remain in isolation at a hotel outside London until next week, forcing Cardiff to field a mixture of Wales internationals, semi-professionals and academy players in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Toulouse.
Fellow Welsh side the Scarlets currently have 32 players in quarantine at a Belfast hotel. They forfeited their weekend Champions Cup game against Bristol.
Cardiff would face a tall order against the five-time European champions even if they were at full strength but flanker Ellis Jenkins, who captained Wales in their Autumn Nations Series wins over Fiji and Australia, is not deterred.
“Realistically, we were underdogs when this fixture was announced, if we are being honest with ourselves,” he said.
“With all the situation that is going on, the pressure is off us completely.
“And sport is strange sometimes. It doesn’t always play out as it should. We have still got some stardust across our team.
“There are lots of boys who would love to be playing in this game who are in a hotel room.
“We have got to try and do them justice and do as well as we can. We have got to go out and do a good job.”