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by Staff reporter
21 December 2021
Swinney: Cup final could prove to be super-spreader event

Swinney: Cup final could prove to be super-spreader event

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said he regrets that the decision to restrict fans from football grounds was not taken earlier.

Speaking after further Covid restrictions were announced this afternoon by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Swinney said Sunday's cup final between Celtic and Hibs could yet prove to be a “super-spreader” event.

Earlier, Sturgeon said a limit of 100 people will be placed on indoor standing events, 200 for indoor seated events and 500 for outdoor events.

These limits will take effect from Boxing Day for three weeks, but do not apply to private events such as weddings.

The first minister said that as a result, football matches would become “effectively spectator-free”.

Asked on BBC Radio Scotland whether Sunday's match at Hampden could prove to be a super-spreader event, Swinney said: “It could well be. I regret the fact that we didn’t make that decision earlier.

“I wish we had taken the decision earlier. That’s nobody’s fault. I was one of the people involved in the decision – I’m part of that decision-making process. I have to acknowledge that events of that nature have the potential to be superspreader events.”

Despite the new restrictions, advice for family gatherings over Christmas and Boxing Day remains unchanged, with people asked to keep celebrations small and minimise other socialising either side of the weekend.

From 27 December, guidance recommends people limit contacts as much as possible, stay at home and minimise socialising over the New Year period.

This advice will remain in place until at least the end of the first week of January.

Schools are still expected to return as normal in the new year.

Sturgeon also confirmed the government was “confident” it had the capacity to meet the target of having 80 per cent of adults receive a booster by the end of December.

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