'Off for some months to come' - Nicola Sturgeon sends clear message to Scottish football over big gatherings

The First Minister reiterated her concern for the return of big events and mass gatherings

Nicola Sturgeon sent Scottish football a strong message as the Scottish Government unveiled a document outlining the basis of an exit strategy from the current lockdown.

The First Minister made it clear that “big gatherings and events” won’t be given the go-ahead for some time.

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There are concerns of lifting the lockdown too quickly which could result in a second wave of coronavirus, the pandemic having already cost more than 1,100 lives in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon reiterated her position on mass gatherings returning. Picture: SNS

Sturgeon noted that people will have to adapt to a new normal with social distancing measures set to be in place for the foreseeable future.

A ban or strong restrictions will be in place for pubs, large gatherings and events, while pupils may not be able to attend schools at the same time when they re-open.

There have been no specific dates on the easing or lifting of restrictions or the lockdown.

"We will need people in Scotland to continue to live their lives in ways that minimise the spread of the virus,” she said.

"So even as we lift some of the more restrictive measures, better hand hygiene and appropriate physical distancing will need to remain in place at home, on the streets and in the workplace.

"We are likely to require that gathering in groups, for example in pubs or at public events, is banned or restricted for some time to come."

It follows Sturgeon’s comments on Monday where she had warned against an early resumption of sport in the country.

Gregor Smith, Scotland's Interim Chief Medical Officer, said even the prospect of games behind closed doors would be difficult.

The Championship, League One and League Two have all been concluded following the passing of the SPFL resolution, while the Scottish Premiership remains outstanding.

Uefa have been meeting this week and made a strong recommendation that the top flights around Europe should be played to a finish if possible, as well as cup competitions.

Aberdeen have written to the other 11 Premiership sides, plus the SPFL and Scottish FA to request a delay on deciding to conclude the 2019/2020 campaign to explore possible avenues to finish the season before starting the 2020/2021 one.

Talks are taking place already regarding league reconstruction with a second meeting of the task force on Friday.

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