England's entire ODI unit has been forced into self-isolation after seven members tested positive for COVID-19, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Tuesday (July 6).
Tests administered in Bristol on Monday showed three players and four support staff returning positive results, with the rest of the group deemed to be close contacts and having to self-isolate as well.
However, the ECB have insisted that the three-match ODI series against Pakistan, due to start on Thursday (July 8), will go ahead as planned. Ben Stokes will return to England duties and captain the revised squad.
Stokes, who has been returning to full fitness by playing for county side Durham following a finger injury suffered playing in the Indian Premier League, is now set to make his first England appearance since March.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: "We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak.
"We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions.
"Overnight we have worked swiftly to identify a new squad, and we are grateful to Ben Stokes who will return to England duties to Captain.
"We also recognise the impact this news will have on our First Class Counties and their Men’s playing squads and thank them, along with our partners Sky and Royal London, for their ongoing support in dealing with this pandemic."
England, the reigning men's 50-over world champions, completed a 2-0 ODI series win over Sri Lanka when the third and final match of the series in Bristol on Sunday ended in a no-result washout.
Incoming squad players and support staff will now undergo PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure their safe entry into the England camp.
The Pakistan Cricket Board too issued a statement, saying: "The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel, and feels comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place to ensure all the Pakistan players and player support staff remain safe and secure throughout the duration of the series."