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Limits on number of fans permitted to attend football matches lifted by Scottish Government ahead of Premiership winter break ending

By Andrew Henderson

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Football fans will be allowed to return to matches in full, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Before Christmas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced that outdoor events, including football matches, would be limited to crowds of 500 in attendance from Boxing Day.

At the time, Sturgeon said she expected the restrictions to last up to three weeks, citing the number of emergency services required at events of that size over the festive period as a reason for the limits.

ICT have been limited to 500 fans in attendance since Boxing Day. Picture: Ken Macpherson
ICT have been limited to 500 fans in attendance since Boxing Day. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Now, at the latest update to parliament, the First Minister has confirmed that those rules will be lifted as of next Monday, January 17.

That means that Premiership clubs will be able to host capacity crowds when they return from the winter break, which had been moved forward in the hope that exactly this scenario would play out.

It also means that the likes of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who never stopped playing over the last three weeks but would normally have far more than 500 supporters in their ground, will be able to return to those levels.

There will still be some procedures in place, though, with organisers being asked to check the vaccine passports of at least 50 per cent of attendees or 1000 people, whichever number is higher. They will not be mandatory for entry, though, as negative lateral flow tests will provide another option.

The Caley Jags are away from home for their next two matches, so the next time more than 500 fans will be allowed into the Caledonian Stadium will be on Saturday, February 5 when Greenock Morton visit the Highland capital.

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