Blackcaps v Pakistan: Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield blasts tourists for breaking COVID-19 isolation rules

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield is furious at the Pakistan cricket team, after six players tested positive for COVID-19, days after members of the team broke managed isolation rules.

The entire team is on notice from the Government, with players issued a final warning for breaching rules in managed isolation at Christchurch's Chateau on the Park hotel.

Two of the six results have been deemed historical, while four have been confirmed as new. Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman was earlier left out of Pakistan's touring party as a precautionary measure, after developing COVID-like symptoms before the team's departure.

Dr Bloomfield is unclear whether any of the six players who tested positive were caught on CCTV flouting the rules, but insists they are taking this "very seriously".

Former captain Sarfraz Ahmed was among those to test positive for the virus, along with Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, bowler Naseem Shah, Rohail Nazir and Danish Aziz, according to Pakistan media reports.

Dr Bloomfield says CCTV footage showed players in the hallways together, not wearing masks, when they should have been in their rooms until they received day three test results, due Friday. 

The Director-General of Health is unsure how many times the players breached the rules, but according to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan, there were "three or four breaches of protocols". 

"It only needs to be at least once to take a dim view on that," he has told RNZ's Morning Report.

"Rather than being in their own rooms - which is a requirement for that first three days, until that first test comes back - there was some mingling in the hallways, chatting, sharing food and not wearing masks.

"We will be wanting to rule out any potential floor transmission. The squad is separate from others and they are not able to mingle with others outside the squad."

The Pakistan squad is due to play three Twenty20s and two tests in New Zealand, starting next month. 

Khan has spoken to all the players and says being sent back home would be "hugely embarrassing", admitting one more breach would see the entire squad expelled. 

Khan sent a WhatsApp voice message to the entire team.

"I spoke to the New Zealand Government and they told us there were 3-4 breaches of protocols," says Khan.

"They have a zero-tolerance policy and they've given us a final warning. It's not easy, but this is a matter of the nation's respect and credibility.

"Observe these 14 days and then you'll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. 

"They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they'll send us home. It would be very embarrassing, if they end up sending the team back.

"I know it's very tough and difficult, but stay disciplined and follow the protocols they have set. 

"We have no margin for error with the New Zealand Government - this is a final warning. They will not compromise on health and safety.

"Do what's right for your country."

The Blackcaps face the West Indies in the first of three T20's at Auckland's Eden Park on Friday, in what will be their first match since March. 

Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the first Blackcaps v West Indies T20