England cleared to train in Sri Lanka after players test negative for Covid

England are set to train for the first time on their tour of Sri Lanka after no further positive Covid-19 tests were found in the latest round of testing.

The squad quarantined in their hotel this week after Moeen Ali tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Hambantota, meaning he will now quarantine for 10 days away from the rest of the team.

Chris Woakes is also self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of the off-spinning all-rounder, despite the fast bowler being among a round of blanket negatives across players and staff – discounting Moeen.

“All PCR tests from yesterday are negative, except for Moeen Ali, and we can start controlled training this afternoon. We will have a third Covid test tomorrow,” an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The spokesperson added: “Close contact Chris Woakes tested negative but will continue to isolate in his room.

“Moeen Ali is now isolating at the team hotel in Hambantota. The original accommodation he was due to go to in Galle had building work on-site and the alternative option wasn’t up to standard as per the protocols. He returned yesterday evening and is now staying in a separate wing away from the England team.”

England’s training session on Wednesday afternoon will be their first since arriving in the country on Sunday, when they were disinfected with spray guns and tested before being confined to individual rooms at their hotel.

Their preparations can now start in earnest ahead of a two-match Test series which gets under way in Galle on January 14.

Moeen’s quarantine period ends the day before, almost certainly ruling him out of contention for the opener.

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