Covid-19: Scottish football’s Joint Response Group to consult with clubs over strengthening existing protocols | Football News

Scottish football’s Joint Response Group (JRG), which consists of representation from the Scottish FA and SPFL, will begin consultation with clubs over the potential strengthening of protocols between now and the winter break.

The move follows a video conference discussion with Premiership clubs on Thursday, and is to reinforce Scottish football’s measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 and the increased transmission of new variants.

As it stands all matches – including Sunday’s Scottish League Cup final between Hibernian and Celtic will still take place, unless clubs inform the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) they cannot fulfil a fixture or there is a change in government policy.

Current SPFL rules state teams must go ahead with matches if they have 13 fit players, including a goalkeeper. Further to that, 10 of the players must be over 18 years old.

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Dundee United boss Thomas Courts confirms there have been ‘a couple’ of positive Covid-19 tests within his squad but expects Saturday’s match against Rangers to go ahead

Despite Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging people to limit socialising to three households in the run-up to Christmas, there has been no change in allowing events to go ahead.

Sturgeon said the Omicron variant will become the dominant strain of Covid-19 in Scotland by Friday.

There were 5,951 positive cases on Wednesday in Scotland with more than half of the adults in Scotland now having had a booster jab.

Martindale calls for ‘circuit-break’; Mackay, Neilson and Courts disagree

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Livingston manager David Martindale before a cinch Premiership match between Livingston and Celtic at the Tony Macaroni Arena on September 19, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Livingston boss David Martindale has called for a ‘circuit-break’ for Scottish football

Livingston boss David Martindale has called for a circuit breaker, while the likes of Dundee United, Ross County and Hearts have said games should go on.

Since October 1, there have been 38 positive cases involving players and 33 involving staff/coaches throughout the four SPFL leagues (Premiership, Championship, League One, League Two).

The most recent top-flight postponement involved Hibs who saw two matches called off due to an outbreak at the start of November.

Instead of games being called off, the SPFL has rescheduled more festive fixtures with Airdrie’s League One game against Queen’s Park, which was recently postponed because of a Covid outbreak among the Airdrie squad, rearranged for December 29.

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