CARDIFF Blues rugby team are isolating in South Africa after members of the team tested positive for Covid.

Two members of the squad tested positive for Covid, with one of the cases suspected to be the new Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant has caused concern, with the new variant being the reason why travel restrictions have been imposed between the UK and South Africa.

A statement from Cardiff said: "The travelling party had hoped to depart Cape Town this afternoon after a charter plane was secured, however PCR tests undertaken last night have returned two positive results.

"As a consequence of one of these results suspected of being Omicron, the entire travelling party have returned to their hotel to isolate.

"Cardiff Rugby continue to work with the South African Rugby Union, the Welsh Rugby Union and public health authorities both at home and abroad to decide the next course of action.

"The club are also continuing to work with all relevant authorities to secure the travelling party’s return to Wales when safe and appropriate.

"Everybody concerned in this highly challenging situation would like to thank their families, friends, colleagues and the wider rugby family for their many messages of concern and well wishes."

The South African isolation rules mean that the team will have to isolate for 14 days from the day of developing symptoms, putting the fixture against Toulouse on December 11 into doubt.

Lllanelli-based side the Scarlets were also in South Africa at the time, but have been able to return to Europe as no members of the squad tested positive after tests in the past 48 hours.

The team have arrived in Ireland and are due to isolate in a hotel in Belfast, as per the rules for people returning from red-listed countries in Africa.


Irish team Munster are also stranded in South Africa, after a member of the travelling party tested positive for Covid, though it is unclear if it is the new Omicron variant.

Travellers returning from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia will have to isolate for 10 days after returning to England and Wales.