England players will NOT be allowed to sign autographs and eat out in Melbourne and Sydney because of more stringent Covid rules… but they will avoid hotel quarantine before Boxing Day and New Year Ashes Tests
- England players will not be allowed to sign autographs in Melbourne and Sydney
- Visitors will also be banned from eating in restaurants in both Australian cities
- Measures are part of a stringent set of new rules put in place for both teams
- Australia’s captain Pat Cummins missed second Test after ill-fated trip to eatery
England’s players must adhere to stricter Covid guidelines — and will not be allowed to eat in restaurants or sign autographs — when the Ashes moves to Melbourne and Sydney.
The tightened level four restrictions on players from both sides comes both in light of Australia captain Pat Cummins missing the second Test after an ill-fated trip to an Adelaide eatery on the eve of the Test and rises in transmission of the virus in the two cities in question.
They are the venues for the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Ashes matches.
England players will not be allowed to sign autographs either as part of strict Covid rules
Australia’s captain Pat Cummins missed the second Test after he was deemed close Covid contact
As the Cummins case proved, players are susceptible to missing matches if deemed to be in close contact with positive cases.
So, to lessen the chances of surrendering to such a fate, Cricket Australia has advised both teams to dine al fresco if venturing from hotels and limit contact with the public. Other sensible precautions are also in place.
As one England player told the Mail On Sunday: ‘At the moment we are under strict guidelines to only go out in groups of three maximum — can you imagine if the entire bowling unit was out together to eat and got pinged?’
A return to team bubble or hotel quarantines — one of the pre-tour fears of the England players — has been avoided and both the squads appear to have accepted living to higher-level restrictions for the next section of an Ashes tour that features little downtime between now and January 18.
That is when the series is scheduled to end in Hobart. Mixing with cricket fans, posing for selfies and even having haircuts will be off limits.
England players will not be allowed to eat in restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney