The SPFL have officially announced the move of this season’s winter break with Premiership clubs heading off for three weeks after the Boxing Day fixtures are completed.

After First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a restriction to capacity in stadia to just 500, the Premiership sides have been left scrambling to find a way to avoid having to play games in front of a handful of fans.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster confirmed the move last night after talks with clubs in all four divisions saw clubs in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 vote to continue playing rather than pausing their season for three weeks.

“We have had intense and positive discussions with all cinch SPFL clubs over the past 24 hours, since the announcement by the Scottish Government of a three-week period of restrictions on fans attending matches,” Doncaster said.

“We have advised our clubs that any postponements increase the risk of further disruption to an already highly congested fixture calendar.

“There are mixed views amongst cinch Premiership clubs about what to do for the best.

“However, a majority favour the postponement of fixtures to give a chance for games scheduled to be played over the festive period to be played in front of fans, once the three-week period of restrictions comes to an end.

“The SPFL Board has agreed to postpone the 29 December and New Year cinch Premiership fixture cards.

“cinch Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs voted to continue playing through the Government restrictions and we look forward to their festive fixtures over the next fortnight.

“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sky Sports and Police Scotland for their flexibility in accommodating these changes and to all cinch SPFL clubs for their clear, positive and constructive feedback as we work together to get through the challenges posed by Covid-19.”

Here are how the new fixtures look after the changes to the winter break were confirmed by the SPFL:

Games originally scheduled for 29 December:

Monday 17 January

Celtic v Hibs

Tuesday 18 January

Aberdeen v Rangers (Sky Sports)

Dundee United v St Mirren

Hearts v St Johnstone

Livingston v Dundee

Ross County v Motherwell

Games originally scheduled for 2/3 January:

Tuesday 1 February

Dundee v Dundee United

Hibs v Hearts (Sky Sports)

Livingston v St Johnstone

Ross County v Aberdeen

St Mirren v Motherwell

Wednesday 2 February

Celtic v Rangers (Sky Sports)

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