Scottish Rugby confirm Six Nations plans for England and France matches as crowd restrictions lifted

Scottish Rugby has confirmed that Scotland’s home Six Nations matches will go ahead at Murrayfield as planned following the decision to lift crowd restrictions.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in her latest Covid address that the 500 limit placed on attendances for outdoor sporting events since Boxing Day will be lifted from Monday, January 17, ahead of the start of the tournament next month.

That will mean full capacity crowds for the Calcutta Cup match against England at Murrayfield on Saturday, February 5 and against France on February 26, although supporters will need to have received a booster jab, if there second dose was more than four months ago, or alternatively provide proof of a negative lateral flow test, to gain entry, with organisers required to conduct spot checks on at least half of attendees.

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There had been suggestions that the Murrayfield matches could be postponed, or even moved to England, where no crowd measures have been in place, to avoid being played effectively behind closed doors amid fears that restrictions coud have impacted on the tournament.

Murrayfield will be packed to capacity for Scotland's Six Nations matches with crowd restrictions due to be lifted next week.

However, the announcement from Ms Sturgeon on Tuesday has ensured that the fixtures can go ahead as planned.

A statement read: “Scottish Rugby has welcomed today’s confirmation from the Scottish Government that attendance limits on outdoor events will be lifted from next week.

"This will enable the forthcoming Guinness Six Nations matches to go ahead and we continue, as planned, to host England and France at BT Murrayfield, starting with the Calcutta Cup on Saturday 5 February.

"We will continue to support public health measures being implemented in Scotland and work to ensure required mitigations on those attending matches for our professional and national teams are put in place.”

Glasgow Warriors have also reacted to the news confirming that they will reopen their doors to fans against La Rochelle at Scotstoun in the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday, January 22.

A club statement read: “To ensure your match days are as comfortable and safe as possible, we will continue to have measures in place that help to minimise the risks of spreading COVID-19.

“Supporters attending Glasgow Warriors fixtures must be fully vaccinated – which means they must have their first and second doses as well as their booster dose if it has been four months or more since receiving their second dose – or alternatively, provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test.

“In addition, further to today’s updated government guidance, the club is now required to check the vaccination status of at least 50% of its spectators, therefore, please bear in mind when attending matches at Scotstoun Stadium you may be subject to vaccine certification checks upon arrival at the stadium. Click here for information on coming to the game. Season Ticket Members and Match Ticket Purchasers will also receive a pre-match information email.

“Thank you once again for your continued support of the club, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Scotstoun next weekend.”

Likewise, Edinburgh Rugby will welcome fans back into the stands for the club’s European Challenge Cup clash with French TOP14 side CA Brive on Friday, January 21 at the DAM Health Stadium with the same entry requirements.

Both pro clubs played home matches behind closed doors last weekend.

Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director, Douglas Struth, said: “We’re delighted fans will be back in the DAM Health Stadium stands for our vital European Challenge Cup match against Brive, and beyond.

“We started our cup campaign with an excellent away win over Saracens last month and, while we have our trip to face London Irish to contend with first, we cannot wait to be back home to play in front of our home support once again.

“It’ll be another huge night at the DAM and we can’t wait to see you all back there in a fortnight’s time.”

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