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Young calls for common sense and clear action

First Team News | 10th December 2021

Dai Young has called for common sense to prevail as six Cardiff Rugby employees face a second 10-day isolation. 

Three players and three members of backroom staff were all forced to remain in South Africa after testing positive for Covid-19, amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

They have all now completed a 10-day quarantine in a South African Government Covid-19 hotel and are in good health, with all six now repatriated in the UK.

With South Africa on the UK red list, all returning citizens must isolate for 10 days in a Government approved quarantine hotel.

That currently includes those who have already tested positive and served 10 days, a unique situation affecting not only six Cardiff Rugby employees but hundreds of other UK citizens.

Cardiff Rugby are seeking clarification from the Department of Health and liaising with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on this issue but  director of rugby, Dai Young insists action must now be taken and a decision made.

He said: “This is obviously a difficult and unprecedented situation facing not only ourselves but lots of other UK citizens returning from red list countries.

 “While myself and 41 colleagues are well into our quarantine in London, we were forced to leave six others in South Africa after they tested positive ahead of our departure - they are now in a unique and pretty harsh situation..

“Leaving them behind in a country more than 8,000 miles away was incredibly difficult and the thing I have struggled with most through all of this. 

 “These guys, some of whom have young families, have already quarantined for 10 days in an approved South African facility in Cape Town. They are symptom free and now will most likely have developed antibodies to the virus - all the science tells us they are extremely low risk, are in a better position than any of us and they should not need to quarantine.

“However, the current legislation does not account for this situation and therefore, as it stands, they must once again quarantine for 10 days in the UK. 

“They will also be required to test, which may result in an extended isolation period as the virus, while unlikely to be transmittable could still produce a positive PCR test.

“It’s an incredibly frustrating situation, which will mean the guys are in isolation for at least 22 days, on top of our self imposed quarantine at the start of all this.

“It has been very tough for all of us and it’s not a pleasant experience. We are very aware that lots of people are in this situation, and they too have our sympathy, but for people to be facing more than three weeks of isolation is hard to bear.

“It will have a significant impact on the individuals' health and wellbeing and we require support from the powers that be at DCMS and Public Health for decisions to be made. This goes for not only our six colleagues but everyone in this awful situation. Something must be done.”

As it stands 42 members of the Cardiff travelling party are isolating near Crawley, with 35 of those due to complete their quarantine on Tuesday. Seven of that initial group returned positive tests while in quarantine and will return to Cardiff later in the week.

Young added: “This isn’t a pleasant experience for anyone, and our hotel is full of other people in the same situation, but I am very proud of how all of our guys have handled themselves.

“Everyone has struggled at times but the boys have all tried to make the best out of a bad situation and for those of us who left Cape Town last week, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. 

“Our focus is now on the health and wellbeing of those beginning another stint and providing as much support as we possibly can as discussions continue with DCMS and the Department of Health.

“We are very grateful for all the support and well wishes we have received so far and particular thanks go to the club and Phil Davies (WRPA), who have ensured there is someone constantly on the ground to support us with deliveries of essentials.”