England 's cricketers could be banned from travelling to Australia for the Ashes if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has said.
The state of Victoria, which is due to host the iconic Boxing Day Ashes Test in Melbourne, recently issued a health order for 'authorised workers' wanting to enter the state.
The order requires those authorised workers, a term which includes any "professional or high-performance sportsperson", to have received two vaccine shots by the end of November.
If any of England's cricketers have not been double-jabbed by that time, then they could be banned from entering Australia and playing in the Ashes.
When asked specifically about the series, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it would be "highly unlikely" that the Australian government would allow England's cricketers to enter the country if they have not been "double-vaxxed".
He said: "I don’t issue passports or visas … but I think it is highly unlikely that the Commonwealth government will be letting anybody into this country that has not been double-vaxxed, certainly in the medium term. That might change over time."
The ECB have confirmed to news agency Reuters that they expect every member of their travelling party to be fully vaccinated in time for the Ashes.
Cricket Australia, meanwhile, have said: "Virtually every single professional player will be fully vaccinated by the end of this month."
Some of England's players have expressed concerns about Australia's strict coronavirus protocol, with Jos Buttler admitting that he "wouldn't be comfortable" if his family was unable to join him.
"For myself, if I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes – four, five months without seeing my family – I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that," Buttler said.
"We’re still waiting for more information, hopefully in the next few days there’ll be more. As soon as you get that it makes it easier to know what decision you’re making.
"The ECB and Cricket Australia will be working very hard together to make it as good as possible. It’s tough to make a decision when you don’t have all the answers.
"In Covid times, there is always going to be some sort of question that is difficult to answer. It could be changeable, it would be naive not to say so in the times we’re living in, but you want to go there with as many assurances as possible.
"I am trying to get as much information as I can, I know it sounds boring saying that, but I can’t really say anything else."
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