Sophie Jackson competes against Denmark but her Scotland side have been forced to pull out of the tournament after two more positive COVID-19 cases©WCF

Scotland have been forced to withdraw from the World Women’s Curling Championship in Canada after being hit by two more positive COVID-19 cases.

Skip Rebecca Morrison and alternate Fay Henderson had already dealt Scotland a double blow when they tested positive for coronavirus on the eve of the tournament in Prince George.

Scotland were only able to field three players for their opening two matches at the CN Centre, losing 12-1 to reigning champions Switzerland before producing a valiant display in a 10-9 defeat to the Czech Republic this morning.

Following a call-up, Beth Farmer was making the trip from Scotland to Canada to join up with the squad, but Scottish Curling confirmed that a further round of COVID-19 testing resulted in two more positive cases, leading them to pull out of the competition.

Scottish Curling claimed the decision was made to protect the safety of the team and maintain the integrity of the tournament.

"Arrangements are currently underway to organise the team’s return to Scotland as soon as it is safe and possible for them to do so," a statement from Scottish Curling added.

Scotland were scheduled to face Denmark in the evening session, but their withdrawal means that their opponents claim victory by default.

The World Curling Federation confirmed that all the teams that Scotland were due to face in the round-robin would receive automatic wins.

Switzerland backed up their 12-1 thrashing of Scotland with two further victories as they continued their defence of the title.

The eight-time winners, skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni, edged Olympic bronze medallists Sweden 8-7 before defeating Canada 11-3.

South Korea made it three wins from three to join Switzerland and Japan at the top of the standings ©WCF
South Korea made it three wins from three to join Switzerland and Japan at the top of the standings ©WCF

"It’s always fun to have two-win days, especially against Sweden and Canada," said Tirinzoni.

"You don’t get many curling days like this, so I’ll take it.

"You always know it’s going to be tough against teams like these - they have all the shots and strategies, so you just have to play well."

Switzerland are joined at the top of the standings by Japan and South Korea who have also won their first three matches.

South Korea beat Germany 7-2 before overcoming Czech Republic 8-7, while Japan saw off Italy 9-2 and then held their nerve to defeat the United States 7-6.

In the other results, the US claimed a 7-6 victory over Italy, Canada triumphed 8-4 against Turkey, Sweden swept aside Denmark 9-4 and Norway thumped Germany 11-6.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow.