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Tuesday 11th January 2022

Joint Response Group - 11/01/22

First Minister's update on Scottish football attendances

Scottish football’s Joint Response Group is pleased that football fans across the country will be able to return to stadia without restriction from Monday 17 January following confirmation from the First Minister today.

While the attendance restrictions for football matches will be removed from next week, the entry requirements have been strengthened to ensure:

  1. That all supporters must either a) be fully vaccinated, which will include a booster vaccine for those who had a second dose more than four months ago; or b) provide proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test.
  2. That clubs must increase spot-checking from 20% of attendees prior to admittance, to at least 1000 supporters or 50% of the attendance, whichever number is greater.

Further to the above, clubs are advised to recommend that all fans take a Lateral Flow Test before travelling to the match, regardless of their vaccination status.

The national game has again played its part in helping the Scottish Government’s effort to overcome COVID-19, by facilitating pop-up vaccination centres at several stadia to accelerate the booster programme and by complying with the restrictions outlined prior to the festive period.

Scottish football will continue to support that collective effort and, indeed, we urge fans to comply with public health guidance and make the live match experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Our clubs are well-versed in ensuring the safe access and egress of fans within the stadium footprint and we will continue to update the established protocols to reflect the Scottish Government guidance.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President: “Today’s announcement is welcome news for football fans across Scotland. The First Minister described the new guidance as the country ‘turning a corner’ in the fight to overcome COVID-19 and in particular the Omicron wave that necessitated the latest restrictions.

“In that regard, I would like to thank clubs for playing their part during the most recent restrictions and I am certain as a sport we will continue to demonstrate best practice in ensuring the safety of players, staff, spectators, match officials and everyone involved in the  matchday experience.”

Neil Doncaster, SPFL Chief Executive: “Today’s announcement is a sensible decision that will be welcomed by clubs and hundreds of thousands of fans across the country. 

“Football is not the same without supporters, and I know how much it will mean to them to be back in stadiums watching matches again.

“This news will also be a real financial boost for our 42 member clubs, who have faced an incredibly challenging set of circumstances since the pandemic began. 

“Clubs will continue to play their part to keep fans and players safe and I would like to thank them for their efforts in following the most recent restrictions at such short notice.

“Everyone in Scottish football can now look forward to some cracking matches and a really competitive second half to the season.”