England's tour of South Africa has been called off following the outbreak of Covid-19 among both teams' camps and staff at their hotel, understands ESPNcricinfo. The series remained in the balance on Sunday after the two countries' cricket boards announced that Monday's planned second one-day international in Cape Town will not take place.
The tour has officially been postponed rather than abandoned completely. The three-match ODI series forms part of the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup via the ICC's new Super League, and the boards signaled their intentions to stage the series at a later date.
The decision came after three postponements in four days of the opening ODI of the series, which had originally been scheduled to take place at Newlands on Friday, before two failed attempts to stage it at Paarl on Sunday, and at Newlands again Monday.
"The decision was taken jointly by the two boards to ensure the mental and physical health and welfare of players from both teams," the statement said. "CSA and the ECB will now work together to determine when the three-match series, which forms part of the ICC Cricket Men's Super League, can take place in the future."
Kugandrie Govender, CSA's acting CEO, said: "The concern over the mental health impact of recent events on all involved is not one that we as CSA or the ECB take lightly and the decision to postpone the tour is the most responsible and reasonable course of action for us.
Tom Harrison, the ECB's chief executive, said: "We have always maintained that the welfare of our players and management is paramount. We were concerned about the potential impact that recent developments might have on the wellbeing of the touring party, and so after consultation with Cricket South Africa, we have jointly made the decision to postpone the remaining matches in this series, in [the] best interest of the players' welfare.
The England camp subsequently revealed that they had returned two "unconfirmed" positives after a round of retesting on Saturday evening.
The cancellation of the remaining matches will have serious implications for cash-strapped Cricket South Africa who were due to earn a reported $4.2 million for the television rights.