Team India will be allowed to fly home from South Africa even if borders are closed

Ravichandran Ashwin

Taking the current COVID-19 scenario into consideration, there is a cloud of uncertainty around the upcoming series between India and South Africa. Nevertheless, India will be allowed to leave South Africa, even if the borders do get closed if COVID-19 situation worsens.

CSA has assured the BCCI that if such a situation arises, then their permission required for their exception to leave shall be granted. As the threatening Omicron variant has led to a fourth wave of the virus in the rainbow nation, the series is all set to be played behind closed doors.

Despite all the precautions taken, if a situation arrives where the visitors wish to go home, then the South African government will allow them to go back to India. CSA’s chief medical officer, Dr. Shuaib Manjra assured that all the necessary precautions have been taken in order to ensure that there is no COVID scare. He also spoke about the clearance for the Indian team to go back, just in case.

“If there needs to be repatriation and the borders are closed, the government has given a guarantee that they will allow the players and the team to go back to India,” said CSA’s chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra according to News24.

“I think we’ve taken whatever measures we can to ensure that the Indian team is not only safe here, but should they need to leave for whatever reason, that the path is open for them to leave at any point that they wish,” he added.

CSA has booked an entire hotel for the Indian team to stay

While the entire Irene Country Lodge has been booked for the Indian team and their staff, all of them are regularly getting tested. Besides, no outside food is allowed in the hotel premises as well. The CMO also said that the team is having a comfortable stay as of now.

“We are regularly in touch with CSA officials & the Indian team management in South Africa. The team is having a very comfortable stay. As now the series is behind closed doors – any threat further gets diminished. CSA also has assured in case of anything untoward, Indian team will be immediately given permissions to fly out,” he said.

Manjra also added that just in case any member of the Indian team or their management tests positive for COVID-19, the hospitals have guaranteed them beds. Close contacts would be allowed to continue to take part in the series without isolation too. Thus, it is safe to say that CSA is doing everything in their hands to ensure that the series goes smoothly.