The West Indies cricket team on Monday departed from Antigua for their scheduled three-test tour of England as international cricket is finally set to resume.
Two planes collected players from various islands in the West Indies earlier on Monday before they all took a private charter flight for the UK, which will reach Manchester on Tuesday.
"All the touring party based in the Caribbean completed their COVID-19 tests last week and all the results have been confirmed as negative," West Indies Cricket said in a statement.
It further added that on their arrival at Old Trafford, Manchester, the whole touring party will be tested again for COVID-19 as they begin the seven week tour where they will live, train and play in a "bio-secure" environment, as part of the comprehensive medical and operational plans to ensure player and staff safety.
The bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, so a group of reserve players will travel to train and help prepare the Test squad and ensure replacements are available in case of any injury.
The three-Test series will also mark the return of international cricket which was suspended in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The first Test will be held from July 8-12 at the Aegeas Bowl while the remaining two at Old Trafford (July 16-20 and July 24-28).
The West Indies squad, which will arrive in the UK on Tuesday, and will travel to Old Trafford for quarantining and training. The venue will be their base for three weeks before they move to the Ageas Bowl for the start of the first Test.
The tour was originally scheduled for May and June but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is a huge step forward in cricket and in sports in general as we travel over to England for this series," captain Jason Holder said. "A lot has gone into the preparations for what will be a new phase in the game."
Meanwhile, the two Indian support staff members won't be able to travel to UK to join the West Indies team due to the travel restrictions in India. Batting coach Monty Desai will be replaced by Floyd Reifer for this tour, while A.R. Srikkanth, the Team Analyst, will work remotely from Bangaluru for the duration of this tour.
West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer and Kemar Roach.
Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican.
Team Management: Phil Simmons (Head Coach), Rawl Lewis (Team Manager), Roddy Estwick (Assistant Coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant Coach), Floyd Reifer (Batting Coach), Dr Praimanand Singh (Team Doctor), Ronald Rogers (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Denis Byam (Physiotherapist), Neil Barry Jr (Physiotherapist), Zephyrinus Nicholas (Massage Therapist), Nkoyo Meade (Massage Therapist), Donald LaGuerre (Team Psychologist), A.R. Srikkanth (Team Analyst) and Dario Barthley (Media & Content Officer).