England's upcoming tour to Sri Lanka is likely to go ahead despite the threat of a new Covid-19 strain emerging in the United Kingdom which has forced many countries to block flights from the country.

England are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for a series of 2 Tests from January 14 in Galle. Part of the World Test Championship, the series was originally scheduled in March but had to be postponed following the coronavirus pandemic.

But the series has come under threat once again ever since Sri Lanka joined the list of countries who banned all commercial flights from Britain.

The England cricket team is scheduled to leave for Sri Lanka on January 2 on a private plane if they get the clearance for the tour from the authorities. They are then to quarantine for three days in Hambantota before heading to Galle for the matches to be played behind closed doors.

“Yes, anxiety is high at this stage from everybody. But when you look at the scientific evidence, I don’t think we should stop it,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) physician Daminda Attanayake was quoted as saying by the website.

“We might have to take extra precautions, but we don’t need to stop the tour,” he added.

European nations and other countries around the world began slamming borders shut to Britain on Sunday, a day after the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the new variant of the coronavirus was mostly responsible for a surge in new infections in London and southern England and imposed tight new lockdown restrictions.

The discovery of the new strain, just months before vaccines are expected to be widely available, sowed new panic in a pandemic that has killed about 1.7 million people worldwide and more than 67,000 in Britain. Cases of the new strain have also been in detected in some other countries, including Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands.

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