What do Celtic and Rangers fans need to get back into Ibrox and Celtic Park? New Covid restrictions explained

It was good news for football fans across Scotland on Tuesday, as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the cap on spectators at major outdoor events is to be lifted.
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The change, which will be made on Monday, will mean that more than 500 people will be allowed at football matches.

The cap was introduced in the middle of December, which led to the SPFL bringing forward its winter break. It meant the planned January 2 clash between Celtic and Rangers was pushed back.

Full crowds will be back at Ibrox and Celtic Park.Full crowds will be back at Ibrox and Celtic Park.
Full crowds will be back at Ibrox and Celtic Park.

The decision seems to have worked. Full crowds will now be allowed at games, including at the Old Firm fixture in February - welcome news for fans and the clubs. It means just one round of matches were played in front of a restricted crowd.

Top-flight clubs will resume from their winter break next week, with Celtic hosting Hibernian on Monday night.

Rangers, meanwhile, are travelling to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen on January 18.

How do the new rules affect games?

The Covid certification scheme will be tightened, with events of more than 1000 people required to check the status of at least half of attendees or at least 1000 people, whichever is higher.

From Monday the requirement to be “fully vaccinated” for this scheme will be increased to three doses for those whose second dose was more than four months ago.

Fans will need to show a printed or digital version of their vaccine certificate, or proof of vaccination through the NHS Scotland Covid Status app.

If you are exempt from being vaccinated, you must be able to show proof.

You will also still be able to get into games by providing proof of a recent negative Lateral Flow Test.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesPhoto by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

What did Nicola Sturgeon say?

The First Minister said: “Firstly, our guidance will now stipulate that the organisers of large events of 1000 or more people should check the certification status of at least 50 per cent of attendees rather than the current 20 per cent or at least 1000 people, whichever figure is highest.

“And second, from Monday the requirement to be fully vaccinated for the purposes of Covid certification will including having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.

“The NHA Covid status app for domestic use will be updated from Thursday so that its QR code includes evidence of booster vaccination.”

How did fans react?

We went through social media following the announcement to see how Celtic and Rangers fans were reacting to the news.

@Matt574712592: “So as it happens Celtic and the other teams that voted to bring forward the winter break were absolutely spot on.”

@Strumme56293558: “Well done to the 10 clubs who voted for an early winter shutdown. It made sense. Let’s get all supporters back in to stadiums no matter what team you support.”

@Baz177: “A long time til Monday. It could all change again if Celtic get a couple of injuries and Covid cases.”

@ARLAWSON_AL: “What a farce... she disrupted Scottish football and cost clubs money for what? Diddly squat!”

@johndeacons72: “We want fans back ASAP as punters have been missing the fitba like made, including me. I’m buzzing the crowds are back.”