Cardiff finally finds the 'exit door' in Cape Town
NEWS UPDATE: The Cardiff team plans to depart Cape Town on Thursday, after the Welsh franchise secured a charter flight and quarantine accommodation in England.
The Blue and Blacks’ travelling contingent, which includes 15 full Welsh internationals, had been left stranded in the city after South Africa was placed on the United Kingdom’s red list and borders were closed to arrivals from six countries on the continent – now 10 in Wales.
“It had been hoped they would be able to depart on a flight with Munster, Scarlets and Zebre on Sunday, but two positive cases ruled out the departure,”a Cardiff statement said.
“However, working in collaboration with the United Rugby Championship and the Welsh Rugby Union, a charter flight has been confirmed for Thursday.
“Upon arrival in England, Wales’ capital city team will then begin a 10-day period of isolation in a UK Government COVID-19 hotel.
“Those remaining in South Africa will undertake 10-days quarantine in a South African COVID-19 hotel and will be repatriated to the UK as soon as possible.”
Earlier there were concerns for the well being of the Cardiff players and officials amid reports some squad members are experiencing ‘panic attacks’.
The Welsh government has rejected a request to allow the players to quarantine in a hotel in Wales which had agreed to accommodate the Scarlets, currently in Belfast after leaving South Africa, and Cardiff simultaneously.
“Those [COVID-19] laws are things that everybody needs to abide by and there will be no exceptions to that,” said Welsh health and social services minister Eluned Morgan.
“Obviously, we are interested in bringing our boys home. But they will have to come home in the same way that everybody else in this country would be expected to come home.”