Cardiff Rugby and Munster to stay in South Africa after positive Covid-19 cases

United Rugby Championship teams Cardiff and Munster will remain in South Africa after both clubs confirmed positive Covid-19 cases within their respective camps.

Both squads are currently in Cape Town and had made attempts to leave South Africa prior to Sunday's 4am deadline, which would have meant they could return to the United Kingdom without a 10-day quarantine.

However, those plans were derailed after Cardiff returned two positive Covid-19 cases from Saturday's batch of PCR tests, while Munster accounted for one positive test.

Furthermore, Cardiff added one of their results is "suspected of being Omicron," the more infectious variant of the virus that's led to South Africa being placed on the UK and the European Union's red list for travel.

A statement from the capital club read: "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."

Munster, Cardiff, Scarlets and Zebre were in South Africa for Round 7 of the United Rugby Championship and were set to face the Lions, Stormers, Bulls and Sharks, respectively.

Those fixtures were postponed after it was announced South Africa had been placed on the red list, depriving South Africa of their first round of home fixtures in the URC.

Munster coach Johann van Graan—a Pretoria native—said this week that he was "really looking forward" to facing a familiar foe on native soil, but that homecoming will have to wait.

It's understood Scarlets and Zebre, meanwhile, departed Cape Town as planned on Sunday having returned no positive Covid-19 cases inside either camp.

Wales Online journalist Simon Thomas said all Scarlets squad and staff were aboard the charter flight to Dublin along with Zebre.

It's been suggested South Africa Rugby would consider another batch of back-to-back fixtures playing against one another while the future of their URC campaign takes shape.

However, it's still unclear how this weekend's disruptions will affect teams in regards to the quarantine periods clubs will face upon their returns home.

At the very least, the postponements will impact the calendar later in the season when the rearranged fixtures must take place, particularly if those teams concerned advance to the later stages in Europe.

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