Jason Leitch makes admission over Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen and Scotland games

Scotland’s clinical director Jason Leitch has admitted that “spot checks” are likely to happen once rules are brought into place at the start of October enforcing the need for attendees in a crowd above 10,000 people to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19.

National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government Jason Leitch watches on with then SRU CEO Dominic McKay at BT Murrayfield.
National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government Jason Leitch watches on with then SRU CEO Dominic McKay at BT Murrayfield.

Scottish sporting entities, and football in particular, are concerned about the ne regulations and how they will be policed, with Rangers and Celtic always attracting home crowds above 10,000, while Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen regularly cross that threshold. Furthermore, the national football and rugby teams have home matches at Hampden and BT Murrayfield respectively in the coming months, with both stadia expected to be at capacity for the majority of the matches.

However, rather than check every single spectator has been double-vaccinated against the virus, Leitch expects a proportion of people to looked at, a proposal Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster put on the table last weekend.

When asked if he thought Doncaster’s idea carried logic, Leith responded: "I do and there are scientific ways of working out what that might look like.

"You probably wouldn't check two of 60,000, but you might check a percentage of 60,000. You don't need to check all 60,000.

"If you've got a 200 person venue and it's a relatively slow entry then you can probably manage that.

"But the football authorities are right. These massive events like rugby at Murrayfield or football at one of our big stadia, it may be that we can use probability and science to get us to a point where we need to know 'X-number' or 'X-percentage' of the big number.

"That will give us an idea of how many are actually being vaccinated.

"Remember this is for those individuals. It's to keep them safe.

"I would expect people to do that in an altruistic way to look after themselves and those around them by being vaccinated".

Leitch’s opinions mirror those of the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, who on Monday also backed the idea of spot checks.

"That is absolutely an option that we are happy to consider,” said Yousaf. "What is proportionate on entry to a nightclub of 200 people may not be proportionate, or possible, in an event crowd of 60,000.”

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