Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a further tightening of restrictions in Scotland, but as of yet they won’t affect Scottish Premiership matches from being played.
Sturgeon spoke in Parliament today about aspects such as restaurant and bar curfews, as well as a nationwide ban on households meeting up indoors (Daily Record).
However, there was no “circuit breaker” lockdown, despite plenty of speculation that it may have been introduced. The Scottish Sun reported this morning that the upcoming Celtic-Rangers match on October 17th was likely to be off if one was introduced.
But instead, the First Minister decided to push back a return for a phased return of fans into stadia. Fans were originally supposed to be allowed to start coming back to football on October 5th.
As quoted by the Herald, Sturgeon said: “It’s important that I indicate, in light of the current situation, that the route map changes with an indicative date of October 5, are unlikely now to go ahead on that time scale.”
Celtic-Rangers clash not out of the woods yet
It’s worth bearing in mind that there are still two points in time before this game kicks off when Sturgeon may very well change her mind on whether football can continue.
The first is tonight when she is scheduled to make a TV address to the nation regarding the changes being made. It’s not clear yet whether there will be further restrictions to add to those she listed earlier today.
There is then the review period in three weeks time which will come just days before the game is due to kick-off. Dependent on how the country reacts to the current restrictions imposed, there may be more severe restrictions thrown down.
What does look next to certain is that fans won’t be back anytime soon. With the indicative date of October 5th being pushed back, it doesn’t seem as though the new date will be before the derby.
But then again, the main thing is that we just keep getting the matches played. This is a huge campaign for Celtic, and getting a result over Rangers at this stage of the season would be a massive morale-booster.
For now, we wait and see what the First Minister says both tonight and in the coming weeks. But after this afternoon’s comments, football doesn’t look like being stopped anytime soon.