First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the return of fans to sport in Scotland will be delayed

Sturgeon: "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"

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Fans return to the ground during the Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Kilmarnock at Pittodrie on September 12, 2020, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group) 4:00
Sky Sports News' Charles Paterson explains how the tightening of restrictions in Scotland could affect the planned test events for fans' return to stadiums.

Fans are unlikely to return to Scottish sports grounds in the near future, following an announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

An indicative date of October 5 had been earmarked for the start of a phased reintroduction, with that having already been pushed back by three weeks, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After announcing new restrictions on hospitality and household interaction, Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday: "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."

The Scottish Premiership season will continue as normal while the Championship, League One and League Two are scheduled to begin on October 17, and look set to start behind closed doors.

 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on his way to the Houses of Parliament on September 22, 2020 in London, England. Boris Johnson met with Cabinet this morning ahead of his statement in the House of Commons on the next steps to help curb the spread coronavirus in the UK. Cases have risen over 4000 per day, and are at their highest since the height of lockdown in May, earlier this year. 1:06
Boris Johnson has announced a host of new coronavirus restrictions for England to combat the sharp rise in cases and says they could last for six months

Further pilot events with supporters in stadiums are on hold.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that the measures announced for England on Tuesday may be in place for six months.

But Sturgeon says that may not be the situation in Scotland.

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She said: "It is certainly the case that, until significant developments such as a vaccine change the game in the battle against Covid, it will have a continuing impact on people's lives.

"But that doesn't necessarily mean that all of the new restrictions I am announcing will be in place for six months.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been briefing the Scottish Assembly on the country's next coronavirus steps
Image: Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been briefing the Scottish Assembly on restrictions to be imposed due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic

"By acting early and substantially, our hope is that these new measures will be in place for a shorter period than would be the case if we waited longer to act.

"In the first instance we will review these measures in three weeks, although given the nature of this virus, it is important to be clear that they may be needed for longer than that."

Scotland's Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel, scheduled for 8 October, is therefore set to be held behind closed doors.

Charles Paterson of Sky Sports News said: "If we take the three-week date into mind from today, that takes you to Tuesday October 13.

"That means the Scotland game against Israel at Hampden Park will be behind closed doors, we can say that with assurance.

"The game against Slovakia in the Nations League (October 11) will be behind closed doors - and almost certainly the game against the Czech Republic (October 14) as well.

"The Old Firm game between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park is scheduled for October 17, there was a hope there might be some supporters back in the ground that day.

"It is unclear at this stage whether there will be an opportunity to get supporters into the ground - you have to think the odds are that game will be behind closed doors."

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