Celtic v Rangers, Hibs v Hearts: Scottish football on alert as Wales sets out crowd restrictions

Scottish sport is on alert following a move from the Welsh Government which will see key sporting fixtures played behind closed doors.

In a bid to combat and control the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sports events in Wales will be played without fans.

The guidelines will come into effect on Boxing Day.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: "Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections.

Celtic are set to host Rangers on January 2. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

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"We need to do everything we can to protect people's health and control the spread of this awful virus.

"Throughout the pandemic we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear - we need to act now in response to the threat of Omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can.

"Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to update parliament today at 2pm.

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The latest figures published by Public Health Scotland on Monday reported that 6,734 new Covid-19 cases had been recorded in Scotland overall in the previous 24 hour period.

There are a host of key fixtures across the SPFL and Scottish sport set to be played between Boxing Day and January 3, which includes Celtic v Rangers and Hibs v Hearts. In addition, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors are set to meet in the 1872 Cup on January 2.

Meanwhile, the Scottish FA provided an update from the Joint Response Group confirming the “enhanced protocols” announced for the Premiership on Friday will be extended throughout the SPFL.

A statement read: "The new testing regime will be effective from tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 December, with all clubs in the cinch Scottish Championship, League 1 and 2 now required to undertake daily testing until the winter break on 3 January.

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"Further meetings are scheduled with the Scottish Women’s Premier League and Scottish Highland and Lowland Football Leagues on Wednesday, and a further announcement will be made thereafter."

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