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Sydney test not at risk over COVID rules: NSW health minister


New South Wales (NSW) health minister Brad Hazzard said on Tuesday that the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing rules pose no threat to the fourth Ashes test in Sydney.

Uncertainty hung over the third test in Melbourne on Monday when two members of England’s support staff and two of their family members were placed in isolation after testing positive.

The test, which Australia wrapped up on Tuesday with an innings and 14-run win, went ahead after the players returned negative PCR tests.

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NSW recorded just over 6,000 new cases on Monday and close contacts are required to isolate for a week, but Hazzard said NSW Health would work with Victorian health authorities to manage any cases so that the next Ashes test can proceed.

“The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) test is sacred, an important date at the start of the third year of our life with COVID-19,” Hazzard said.

“I want to assure the cricket loving public, under our rules any players with exposure to a known case of COVID-19 would be asked to test and isolate only until a negative result was received.

“If there are any cases within the teams, their support staff, or families, we will work with the people involved to ensure they are safe, and there is as little disruption to others as possible.”

The fourth test will be played from Jan. 5-9 at the SCG, with Australia having retained the Ashes after winning the first three games.

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