West Indies cricket team in Christchurch lose training exemption after ‘repeatedly’ breaking managed isolation rules

Source: 1News

The West Indies cricket team have had their training exemptions revoked by the Ministry of Health this afternoon after breaking managed isolation rules inside their Christchurch facility.

The Ministry of Health said as part of their 1pm update that following an investigation they had discovered cricketers in the team had "repeatedly broken managed isolation rules".

Instances of broken rules, which were caught on CCTV and also reported by staff, included groups mingling and sharing food.

“As with other sports teams that have come to New Zealand, the West Indies cricket team were given certain exemptions from the managed isolation rules which apply to everyone else. This included being able to be in larger bubbles and train in preparation for their international games,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

“It is a privilege to come here but in return they have to stick to the rules. Keeping Covid-19 out of our communities and keeping our staff safe depends on it. They didn’t do that, despite agreeing to abide by the parameters of the exemption.

“Consequently, we have revoked the team’s exemption from those requirements of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine Order. This means members of the team will spend the remainder of their time in managed isolation and they are unable to train.”

Dr Bloomfield added all incidents of rule-breaking took place within the hotel facility so there's no risk to the public

The team, here to play Black Caps, is in the managed isolation facility at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch and are currently on day 12 of their isolation period.

The Ministry of Health said the group will be tested today, with the local medical officer of health to determine whether the team in its entirety meets the low risk indicators for release. If there are any concerns, their period in managed isolation could be extended.

The Ministry added evidence will be provided to Cricket West Indies to conduct their own investigation for "any disciplinary action it may consider appropriate".

The West Indies cricket team are today discussing next steps with NZ Cricket, who said in a statement they supported the Ministry of Health's actions.

"NZC will continue working with the West Indies team and management, and relevant Government agencies to ensure there is no repeat of these violations.

"The West Indies squad had their final COVID-19 tests today and, results permitting, are scheduled to leave managed isolation on Friday and travel to Queenstown ahead of two matches against New Zealand A."

The West Indies are scheduled to face the Black Caps in three T20s on November 27, 29 and 30 followed by Test matches in Auckland from December 3 and Wellington from December 11.