National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has provided a boost for Scottish football by confirming stadiums could be full after August 9th (BBC).
Clubs across Scotland are gearing up for the potential of fans returning in some numbers for the start of the 21/22 season, Hibs set to host some fans in a pre-season friendly with Arsenal next month. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently confirmed plans for Scotland’s ‘Freedom Day’ on August 9, where all major Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted.
If this goes to plan, the weekend of August 14th and 15th is when games could be played in front of full stadiums. That’s the weekend where the Premier Sports Cup last 16 ties are due to take place. The first set of league games would be August 21st, meaning Hearts v Aberdeen at Tynecastle for example could be played in front of a full house.
Asked if stadiums could be full after August 9th, Leitch said: “Yes, they can on August 10th, but we’ve had to learn that new word, that indicative word, so we have given advice that with a fair wind the trajectory we are presently on with vaccinations, remember, we are vaccinating 300,000 people every 10 days so that’s a lot of vaccine and this six weeks buys us quite a lot of vaccine time.
“On August 9th, the level system disappears, unless, for instance, there were particular hotspots or the country didn’t do what we hope it will do. Maybe vaccinations slow down for some reason. It’s a little bit indicative, then on August 9th all physical distancing is removed and the limits on event sizes are removed.”
Scottish fans have been mostly locked out of stadiums since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Some fans have returned for pre-season friendlies this month while thousands of supporters have been inside Hampden Park for Scotland’s Euro 2020 matches.
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