Australian bowler Pat Cummins reaches for the ball on the second day of the fourth Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia won by South Africa at Wanderers cricket ground on March 31, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian players will be under stricter Covid restrictions for the next two Test matches after skipper Pat Cummins missed the second Test win after being a close contact of a positive case.

Cummins' absence has no doubt played a role in Cricket Australia placing harsher measures in place to avoid any possible situations where a large group of players are forced to miss a Test.

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A rise in cases in Victoria and New South Wales has also contributed to the decision by the governing body of Australian cricket with the next two matches to take place in Melbourne and Sydney.

Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley said the rise in restrictions for Melbourne and Sydney was something already in the plans and not a reaction to Cummins' incident.

“We’ve had different levels of protocols depending on the risk environment, even before the Pat situation Melbourne and Sydney were higher on the risk level than Brisbane and Adelaide and that was due to the number of cases in the community,” he told SEN Breakfast.

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“So (for Boxing Day), we’ll be going up from our protocol level 3 to Level 4.

“Really the main difference is that we ask players to avoid big crowded indoor public settings.

“They can still go out, still go to the beach, still go to the park.

“They can still go out for dinner, but we ask them to dine outside and in small groups so if there is another hotspot, the whole group is not caught up.

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“So we’re trying to strike that balance between making sure everyone has a great quality of life but also we’re able to keep the series going.”

Cummins sat next to the man who tested positive in an Adelaide restaurant while fellow bowlers Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were allowed to play because they dined at the same establishment but were seated outside.

The England and Wales Cricket Board haven't yet increased restrictions on their players.

Their squad was keen to tour with as few restrictions as possible given the amount of time they spent in bubbles throughout 2021.