The key restriction that remains in place ahead of Celtic Park return

By Euan Davidson

January 11, 2022

Rejoice; supporters will be allowed back into Celtic Park to see the Bhoys take on Hibernian next Monday.

It’s a joyous time; for a minute there, it felt as though we were returning back to the bad old days of 20-21. Season tickets had been bought, but nobody was getting into Celtic Park. It was grim, performances suffered, and the rest is now consigned to history.

Thankfully, a return to last season is not on the cards any more, but there is one thing to bear in mind for Celtic fans, whether you’re going to the game or not. Pubs, such a crucial part of the match-day experience, are still subject to restrictions.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Clearly, there’s a difference between a 60,000 seater stadium and the Saracen Head or the Hoops Bar. Restrictions on outdoor events are being lifted, but pubs and hospitality venues will subject to restrictions until the 24th of January, Nicola Sturgeon said today [BBC].

It’s not to say Celtic pubs are off-limits. But the rules as they stand are: no more than three households per group, table service only, and a one-metre distance between groups [BBC].

Customers in hospitality venues are also likely to be required to use Test and Protect measures, while masks will be required upon entry.

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Something to consider en route to or from Celtic Park

So, the crux? You can head to the game, but pre and post-match pints will be subject to the same restrictions we’ve seen since Boxing Day.

That could put a lot of folk off, sure. But if the situation is reviewed after a week, and some more restrictions are eased, then we’re closer to having the full match-day experience back. And, given the euphoria surrounding the return of actually getting to games? It’s surely unlikely that pub restrictions will be a hammer-blow.

So, sure, the Gallowgate may be a bit quieter than usual next Monday night. As fans make their way back into the centre of Glasgow from Celtic Park, that is.

Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images

But you can bet that Celtic Park will be absolutely rocking for the Hibs game. It’ll be Shaun Maloney’s return to Paradise as a manager. Meanwhile, the Hoops fans are sure to see at least one or two new names in the starting line-up.

Refreshed, re-energised and with the backing of the Hoops faithful, the Bhoys will be raring to go. Celtic Park will be an absolute cauldron.

But bear in mind, if you are heading to a pub before or afterwards, that rules from after Christmas are still in effect. For another week, at least.

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