Covid restrictions on football stadiums lifted as outdoor event rules change in Scotland

By Kirsty McKenzie

Football fans will be allowed back into stadiums from next week after the Scottish Government confirmed it will lift current outdoor events restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon revealed this afternoon that she would remove some of the current coronavirus restrictions in Scotland to allow people to enjoy large outdoor events once again.

The move will permit football spectators to return to stadiums when the Scottish Premiership's winter break ends next week.

It also means rugby fans will be allowed to watch Scotland’s Six Nations rugby matches at Murrayfield.

The first stage in restriction easing since Christmas was announced at an address to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon (January 11).

The First Minister said the success of the booster vaccine roll out across the country were “grounds for cautious optimism” and the limit of 500 people at outdoor events, which has been in place since Boxing Day, will be removed.

Fans will soon be allowed back in stadiums (PA Wire)

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From Monday, January 17, spectators will be permitted again at major outdoor sporting events.

Meanwhile changes to restrictions on indoor events and venues will not be confirmed until next week.

Ms Sturgeon highlighted that anyone wanting to attend a major event outdoors must be prepared to follow the Covid certification scheme in place and note changes to the “fully vaccinated” status.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Organisers of large events of 1000 or more people should check the certification status of at least 50% of attendees, rather than the current 20%, or at least 1,000 people - whichever figure is higher.”

She confirmed that from Monday the requirement to be fully vaccinated for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.

“The NHS Scotland Covid status app for domestic use will be updated from Thursday so that its QR code includes evidence of booster vaccination,” she said.

“It will also be possible to order updated paper and PDF copies of vaccination status, which are now valid for three months.”

Ms Sturgeon added that it will still be possible to gain admission to events and venues covered by the certification scheme by providing proof of a recent negative lateral flow test.

The easing of restrictions comes after the latest data on the virus suggests that the protective measures introduced at the end of last year have had “a positive impact”.

But the First Minister warned that restrictions on indoor events and venues will remain in place for now.

She said: “I hope this will allow us to lift the other protective measures - limits on indoor live events, table service in hospitality and distancing in indoor public pleases - from 24 January.

“However, I will confirm this in my statement next week.”

Currently limits of 100 people are still in place for indoor standing events or 200 if they are seated, while nightclubs have to close. Pubs and restaurants must use table service for alcohol and enforce a one-metre distance between different groups of people.


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