Australia v England - 3rd Test: Day 2
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 27: England players arrive after a COVID scare in the team delayed their arrival, during day two of the Third Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Australia v England - 3rd Test: Day 2

Day 2 of the third Ashes Test between Australia and England has been rocked by a COVID scare and two positive cases at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with play to commence at 11am (AEDT).

COVID has struck the Ashes for the second time, with England delayed leaving their hotel as they were forced to wait for the results of rapid COVID tests.

It's understood a family member of a player tested positive to the illness, with all players required to undergo testing.

England's statement was released at around 9:30am (AEDT) - just 60 minutes before the scheduled first ball - meaning the commencement of play at the scheduled time was looking unlikely.

"The England team and management are currently at the team hotel awaiting results of RFT COVID tests following a positive test in the team's family group." the statement read.

England have since been cleared to leave their hotel, with the team arriving at the ground just before 10am (AEDT). Captain Joe Root was already at the ground practising when the news broke, forcing him back to the dressing room until his rapid test was able to be confirmed.

It has since been confirmed play will be delayed by 30 minutes, with an 11am (AEDT) start selected in an effort to let England properly prepare for the day's play.

England aren't the only group scrambling for COVID tests and contingency plans, with home broadcaster Channel 7 needing to staff a whole new commentary and production team.

The network confirmed a member of its staff tested positive on Boxing Day evening, with Alistair Nicholson, Andy Maher, Jason Richardson, Lisa Sthalekar, Brad Hodge, Callum Ferguson, Michael Atherton and Dirk Nannes drafted in to cover the action on Day 2 - and potentially beyond pending COVID tests within the broadcast team - at the MCG.

Australia will resume at 1 for 61 chasing England's first innings total of 185.