Celtic season ticket holders get massive boost from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

By Euan Davidson

June 22, 2021

Celtic fans have been given a very welcome boost from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The FM has announced an easing of lockdown restrictions to begin on the 9th of August [BBC]. Before that, on the 19th of July, all parts of Scotland aim to be in level 0. This includes the reduction of social distancing from 2 metres to 1 metre, and is a boost to newlyweds, the hospitality industry and families in general.

According to Radio Clyde:

From our perspective, though, it’s also a huge boost for Celtic supporters. The easing of social distancing will allow bigger capacities at sporting events. For Celtic Park, it means more season ticket holders will be able to return. While it may take longer for a full Paradise to become reality, it’s a significant leap in that direction.

According to Nicola Sturgeon, the vaccine rollout has been successful so far. Although 2,167 new cases were recorded on on Monday, “the highest daily total since the peak of the second wave in January” [BBC], there is hope. Fewer hospitalisations and deaths are being recorded due to the vaccine programme.

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While Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised by football fans at various points, this’ll surely be welcome news. While, admittedly, it’s not the July 19th target that had previously been set out, it’s a huge slice of momentum heading into the 21-22 season.

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The season ticket offering, controversial as it was, had the albatross of Covid-19 round its neck. Of course, dangers remain, and we may end up needing annual “booster” shots, like flu [National Geographic]. There are also the effects of “long Covid”, which cause their own set of problems.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon receives her second vaccine / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Masks may need to remain a fixture for the foreseeable, too. However, that’s a small price to pay if it means we can get into Paradise again.

Let’s not get too carried away yet, however. These plans were kicked down the road before, and it’s only through vigilance and the continued vaccine rollout that lower levels of Covid can be maintained. Initially, a roadmap out of Covid was planned for mid-June. Then July. Now it’ll be August, but that does mean more people will have had their first or second vaccine.

According to the BBC:

“By Monday morning, 3,647,437 people in Scotland had received the first dose of the Covid vaccination, with 2,586,970 having received their second dose.”

We hope and pray. So while the July 31st kick-off date [SPFL] is likely to see reduced numbers, this news does create some confidence that by September, we could near at least 1/3 of season ticket holders being allowed in, hypothetically.

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