Neil Doncaster has sent a warning to fans of Scottish football as the likes of Hearts return to league action and Celtic v Rangers takes place.
Supporters remain locked out of grounds as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 cases. It means Hearts fans won’t be inside Tynecastle for their opening match with Dundee whilst Celtic v Rangers is playing out in front of empty stands.
That factored in with a returning card of Championship, League One and League Two matches is a concern for Scottish football’s hierarchy on one specific basis.
With pubs and bars all shut too in certain areas, the potential for house gatherings to take place for these clashes will inevitably rise. This is in spite of the restrictions currently in place across the country which limits such events.
SPFL chief executive Doncaster has sent a warning to fans across the country ahead of kick-off this weekend, urging for common sense.
“A huge amount of hard work has gone into ensuring a safe return to competitive action for Scottish football and we are all desperate for fans to get back into stadia as soon as possible,” he said.
“The overwhelming majority of clubs, players and supporters have been impeccable, consistently conducting themselves safely and responsibly.
“However, in recent weeks, we have seen how quickly the virus can re-emerge, highlighting the need for continued vigilance from fans as we look forward to the first Old Firm game of the season, as well as the long-awaited return of Championship, League One and League Two matches.
“Given the very clear evidence that household mixing brings the highest risk of spreading the infection, we are urging supporters not to congregate in houses to watch matches. They put themselves and their loved ones at significantly increased risk.
“Fans should also be aware that travelling from the Central Belt health board areas covered by current additional measures – Great Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire & Arran – to other areas in Scotland to watch games in licensed premises is a clear breach of the guidelines.
“With such a high-profile round of fixtures ahead, the eyes of the world will be on Scottish football, offering a fantastic opportunity to showcase what makes our game so compelling and exciting.
“However, it’s now more important than ever that all supporters continue to stick rigidly to the latest Government guidance, as well as any specific local restrictions that are in place.”