London, Sep 23 (IANS): With England set to tour Australia for the traditional Ashes series in December there are concerns in England over the impact of the lengthy bio-bubble on the health of the players as the team will be going Down Under soon after the T20 World Cup. To lessen the mental stress, England players have sought to travel with their families for the Ashes, a move opposed by the Australian government which has imposed strict travel restrictions on visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stepped in on behalf of his country's cricketers and has pleaded for the families to be allowed to travel to Australia with the players to lessen the stress caused by staying away from the family during Chrismas. 1
Johnson raised this issue with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during their meeting in Washington DC where they are on a diplomatic visit. Johnson later said that Morrison has promised to come back with a solution soon, as reported by the media in the two countries.
"I raised it [with Morrison] and he said he was going to do his best for the families," Johnson told reporters in Washington. "He totally got the point that for cricketers it is very tough to ask people to be away from their families over Christmas. He merely undertook to come back and see if he could find a solution."
In response, Morrison said: "I would love to see the Ashes go ahead, as I shared with Boris last night. But there's no special deals there. I don't see a great deal of difference in skilled workers or students, who will be able to come to Australia when you reach the vaccination rates."
The first Test is set to start at Brisbane on December 8, but the tour remains in doubt after a number of England players expressed reservations about the 14-day strict quarantine they will have to undergo on reaching Australia for the tour and the measures that will be in force for the duration of the tour.
The Australian government has been very strict on quarantine measures and even its Olympic and Paralympic contingents returning from Tokyo were made to undergo quarantine considering the Covid-19 status in some of its states.
Australia plans to ease travel restrictions only after 80 percent of double vaccination for over 16s is completed, and according to reports that may not happen before the start of the Ashes.