Nicola Sturgeon has delivered a blow for Scottish football fans – but restrictions may not last as long as the six months that have been heavily hinted down south.
It has been announced that supporters are unlikely to return to stadia across the SPFL anytime soon. Earlier this month, Aberdeen and Ross County welcomed 300 fans into their stadiums for home matches against Kilmarnock and Celtic respectively.
Whilst test events did go well, the initial phasing of fans into stadiums across the Premiership last weekend was pushed back to October 5. Now that date has been shelved with no immediate date forthcoming.
It comes as the UK battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, workers being urged to carry out business from home and the hospitality sector facing restrictions. In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted these could last for as long as six months.
In a small ray of light for Scottish football, whilst restrictions will be in place for now, these might not be implemented for as long as Scotland’s neighbours across the border.
“It’s important that I indicate, in light of the current situation, that the route map changes with an indicative date of October 5 are unlikely now to go ahead on that time scale,” the First Minister said.
“It is certainly the case that, until significant developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against COVID, it will have a continuing impact on people’s lives.
“But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing will be in place for six months. By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act.
“In the first instance we will review these measures in three weeks, although given the nature of this virus, it is important to be clear that they may be needed for longer than that.”