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Scottish football season to begin with fans

Seated outdoor stadiums in Scotland will be able to welcome 2,000 fans from July 19 after the Scottish Government confirmed today (Tuesday) that the country will move to level zero of its COVID-19 restrictions.

Standing venues will be able to accommodate 1,000 fans. The new guidelines will mean that the 2021-22 Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) season can commence at the end of the month with fans in the stands.

The guidelines announced today are effective from July 19 and will reduce the physical distancing rule to one metre in all indoor public settings and outdoors. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will provide a further update to Parliament in the week before the next review date on August 9.

Applications can be made on a case-by-case basis to potentially increase capacity limits at larger venues, as was the case for the recent UEFA Euro 2020 games at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

First Minister Sturgeon said today: “We are easing restrictions next week – but we are not abandoning them. We will also keep in place for now certain other measures – such as the requirement to wear face coverings, co-operate with test and protect teams, and comply with advice on good hygiene and ventilation.

“If we do all of this, frustrating though it all continues increasingly to be, we will help protect ourselves and our loved ones. As we continue to complete the vaccination programme, which does offer us still the route back to greater normality, we will make it easier for more restrictions to be gradually and sensibly lifted in the weeks ahead.”

July 19 is also the date that English sports venues can return to operating at full capacity, without restrictions. The UK Government confirmed last week that restrictions in England will be lifted, with no legal requirement on the use of COVID-19 status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to “any domestic setting”.

Image: Foxj/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size