Covid Scotland: Football fans pressed to get vaccinated ahead of Old Firm match

Old Firm fans have been urged to get vaccinated and to take a Covid test before heading for the match on Sunday.

Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said large-scale events were no longer regarded as “safe or unsafe”, but they could always be “made safer” by people taking precautions.

Speaking at a Scottish Government Covid briefing on Friday, Prof Leitch said he thought it was “right” events were now going ahead with guidance.

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He said: “If you’re going, or are the organisers, there are things you can do to make them safe.

Jason Leitch has urged football fans to get vaccinated.Jason Leitch has urged football fans to get vaccinated.
Jason Leitch has urged football fans to get vaccinated.

"If you’re in charge of the Old Firm game, or you’re going to the Old Firm game, or watching it in your pal’s house or in the pub, try and get vaccinated if you haven’t already done that. Test before going out to the stadia or the tube or the pub, and follow the guidance.

"Not just follow it, but extend it for you personally. Even though we’ve removed the law from distancing in numbers, maybe just think what it would be like in that environment – so keep your distance, wear your face covering a little bit more.

"Events are not safe or unsafe, but you can definitely make them safer by your personal behaviour, whether it’s a music festival, the Old Firm game or going out with friends and family.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reiterated the advice and urged those watching the football in groups in people’s homes to “keep the windows open” and not have crowds indoors.

It has also been revealed that Prof Leitch will meet with players, managers and medical staff of all 42 SPFL clubs on Monday to urge them to be doubly vaccinated, and to send out a message to 18-24-year-olds to do the same.

It has been speculated that 100 Scottish football players have refused to be jabbed.

Prof Leitch is expected to lay out the changed isolation rules, which allow those who are double-jabbed and can produce a negative PCR test to carry on normally, even if a close contact tests positive for Covid.

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That would allow players who are well to still be able to play rather that sitting out matches.

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