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Rugby union teams and golfers race to find flights home from South Africa | Sport

Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets are planning to return to Wales on the earliest alternative after South Africa was added to the UK authorities’s journey pink listing.

The 2 golf equipment have been set to participate within the United Rugby Championship in South Africa this weekend, with the Scarlets dealing with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, and Cardiff taking part in the Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday.

After UK officers warned of a brand new variant of coronavirus, each golf equipment issued quick statements in a single day stressing they’re engaged on returning to the UK as quickly as doable.

Cardiff mentioned they’re “wanting to repatriate our employees ASAP”, including that “our focus is to guarantee the protection and welfare of our individuals”. Scarlets added: “Following the information of a brand new Covid-19 variant in South Africa, Scarlets would love to guarantee households and buddies that we’re making each effort to get our touring occasion again home to the UK as quickly as doable.”

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The Irish province Munster and Italian membership Zebre Parma are additionally in South Africa for fixtures in opposition to the Bulls and Stormers respectively.

UK officers warned on Thursday night time that the brand new variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 has the potential to evade immunity constructed up by vaccination or prior an infection. Sajid Javid, the UK well being secretary, mentioned that flights to England from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe can be suspended from noon on Friday and all six international locations can be added to the pink listing.

Sajid Javid on latest Covid variant: 'Our scientists are deeply concerned' – video
Sajid Javid on newest Covid variant: ‘Our scientists are deeply involved’ – video

The European Tour – now referred to as the DP World Tour – has simply commenced a three-week swing of occasions in South Africa and there have been quite a few withdrawals from the Joburg Open.

Englishmen Oliver Fisher, Steven Brown, Richard McEvoy, Matthew Jordan, Andrew Wilson, Matt Ford and Graeme Storm, Scots Richie Ramsay, Liam Johnston and Craig Howie, Northern Eire’s Jonathan Caldwell and Cormac Sharvin and Welshman Oliver Farr all pulled out of the event earlier than the second spherical commenced on Friday, together with Republic of Eire pair Niall Kearney and Paul Dunne.

England’s Lee Slattery opted to start his second spherical and will face a tricky resolution when it’s accomplished. Slattery’s supervisor Brendan Taylor, head of golf on the Wasserman Group, mentioned: “Lee’s in a reasonably tough state of affairs. He solely determined to go down there on the final minute when his class obtained him in and was pondering of then attempting to qualify for the South African Open and hope to get an invitation for the Dunhill Championship.

“We’ve obtained him held on a flight tonight or he can take the choice to keep and strive to earn some useful Race to Dubai factors and possibly come home by way of Dubai and do his quarantine there. I feel that might imply getting home on 23 December which might most likely sound good if he was single, however Lee’s obtained a spouse and children to take into consideration.”

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