French cycling team Cofidis quarantined in UAE until March 14

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Paris (AFP)

The Cofidis cycling team will be quarantined for 10 more days in the United Arab Emirates following the outbreak of coronavirus that ended the UAE Tour, a team official said on Wednesday.

"We have just learned that we are officially quarantined, a priori until March 14," Thierry Vittu, the president of Cofidis' competition team, posted on Facebook.

The UAE Tour was abandoned last Thursday after two Italian staff members with one of the teams tested positive for the disease.

On Tuesday the UAE announced six more related cases, saying that two Russians, two Italians, one German and a Colombian had been infected.

On Monday, Vittu had tweeted that the teram was being "held hostage". On Wednesday he said the news of a definite date was welcome.

"Of course the deadline is far away (although it's only 10 days) but in a way, it's a kind of relief," he said. "What has been difficult to live with so far has been the absence of a deadline and the constant expectation of a close outcome that never came."

"Now we know where we stand, and even if the confinement to our rooms continues, everyone will manage to find occupations, distractions, activities..."

Cyclists, team staff and some media were put under lockdown at hotels in Abu Dhabi where they underwent screening, with most cleared to leave over the past few days.

Cofidis is one of four teams still quarantined, along with another French outfit Groupama-FDJ and the UAE Team and Russian-backed team Gazprom.