UK-based Lions refused permission to fly straight home from South Africa | British and Irish lions
British and Irish Lions players based in the UK cannot fly straight home after Saturday’s crucial test against the springboks after South Africa was redlisted and the government rejected the touring site’s request for a full exemption from quarantine Has.
It is understood that roughly half of the tour group will not be quarantined for 10 days in a designated hotel – at a cost of £ 2,285 per person – but will return to Jersey, where the Lions spent two weeks for a training camp before that they left for South Africa.
The Lions have chartered their own aircraft and intend to drop off Ireland-based players who can be quarantined at home before flying to Channel Island, where they will have minimal restrictions. Some members of the touring group have made their own arrangements, with Warren Gatland assuming he will be returning to New Zealand.
The Lions had hoped to be released from quarantine on their return to the UK immediately after the tour, but it is believed their request has been denied by the government. The Lions awaited the decision and accordingly planned to go to Jersey, but eyebrows are raised that British Olympians would not have to isolate themselves on their return from Tokyo.
Japan is on the government’s amber list, meaning no quarantine is required provided travelers have been fully vaccinated around the world.
This means that some Lions players spent most of the 10 weeks away from home – an issue Gatland raised prior to the tour. “The rugby team takes care of itself so it is important that we do other things right and think about the well-being and mental health of the players,” he said. “The rugby will be the easiest part.”
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England’s Lions players are guaranteed 10 weeks off after the tour, and it is understood that their 10-day stay in Jersey counts towards this rest period, which means they will be out of action by mid-October.
With England playing three autumn internationals in November, Premiership clubs will have to do without their Lions players for much of the season. After Saracens secured promotion to the Premiership, rugby director Mark McCall said of his five-man Lions contingent, “Our Lions players will not be available for a good part early next season, and we know that that’s going to be difficult to deal with. “
Meanwhile, Alun Wyn Jones announced that this week’s training sessions were full as he prepares for a third Lions streak decision, also featured in the 2013 and 2017 final tests when the results were 1-1 . “Our Tuesday session was delicious again,” he said. “It showed the edge that we’ve seen on similar occasions. This is the best preparation we can have for these weeks and these games. “