The third wave of the virus has hit South Africa hard.

THE LIONS WILL land into Johannesburg this morning at around 9.30am local time an hour ahead of Ireland and go into severe Covid-19 restrictions as the country attempts to get to grips with its latest wave of the virus.
There will be no popping out of their luxury hotels for a bite to eat, there will be no ducking away for social drinks together, and there will be no interaction at all with fans. This is a Lions tour like no other and it will surely be a hollow one without the wave of supporters that usually make them a special and unique part of rugby.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa last night confirmed a move into Level 4 restrictions, which include a ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings, a ban on the sale of alcohol, and a curfew from 9pm to 4am every night for the next two weeks.
With daily case numbers at 18,000 and hospitals at breaking point, action was needed. While the South African government hopes to see this surge regress with the fresh restrictions, a rugby tour is still going ahead. 
The Springboks yesterday confirmed three positive Covid-19 cases in their squad and it remains to be seen whether they will be able to play Georgia as scheduled this Friday in the first of two warm-up games ahead of the Lions Test series.
Given that the Boks havent played since the 2019 World Cup final, they need these fixtures. Yesterdays positive Covid cases for Vincent Koch, Sbu Nkosi, and Herschel Jantjies also meant the entire going into isolation and training being cancelled indefinitely another blow for the Boks ahead of the Test series against the Lions.
The tourists, meanwhile, are landing into Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng, the epicentre of the latest wave of Covid-19. They are due to face the Golden Lions there on Saturday as they kick off their tour on the pitch.
The Lions flew out of Edinburgh last night.
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
It looks increasingly likely that the Lions will then relocate to Cape Town, where their seven remaining games including the three Tests could be played. The Covid situation is less severe on the Western Cape and SA Rugby has been looking at shifting the entire tour there.
Currently, the Lions are due to play five of their eight games in Gauteng but that seems unthinkable given the alarming Covid numbers in the province. 
The simple reality is that SA Rugby will do everything in its power to have the Lions games played. They will likely be telling the South African government that cancelling this tour now would mean the union going bust. So they have contingency plans if their contingency plans dont go as planned.
It must have been a very strange experience for the Lions boarding a flight to Johannesburg last night, particularly as Ramaphosa confirmed that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is now rapidly spreading among South Africans.
The Lions are fully vaccinated but as the cases in Boks camps show, that doesnt mean that virus cant hit their camp.
It would also be interesting to know if any of the Lions players had moral concerns about jetting out to play games at a time like this. Certainly, there is a growing feeling in South Africa that the Lions tour should be or should have been cancelled even among rugby obsessives and ex-Springboks.
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The Lions have been assured that Covid restrictions will not affect their ability to train and play, just as long as they strictly stay within their bubble at all times. Again, it will be intriguing to learn how players cope with six weeks of their own form of group isolation.
Alun Wyn Jones presented the new Lions with their caps on Saturday evening.
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
We already knew that rugby players are resilient and adaptable beings. They have become very accustomed to playing in empty stadiums but this Lions tour is on another scale in terms of the sheer limit on interaction with those outside the bubble. 
Gatlands men will need to be ready to pivot and adapt as circumstances change in South Africa, although hopefully for the better if the new restrictions can have any positive effect. 
If the situation deteriorates even further, then the already extremely difficult challenge of pulling this tour off will look more like impossible.
The Lions land into South Africa with plenty of uncertainty ahead.