First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on Celtic and Rangers supporters not to travel to Blackpool to watch this weekend’s Old Firm fixture.
All pubs and restaurants across central Scotland are closed under new measures aimed at tackling a surge in coronavirus cases, which has led to suggestions some football fans may consider travelling in or out of the five lockdown areas or into England to watch the game.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Sturgeon said at least 180 people in Scotland who tested positive for coronavirus in the last month reported a recent trip to Blackpool.
“If you were thinking about going to Blackpool and haven’t booked please do not go. Please do not travel to Blackpool this weekend to see the Old Firm match,” Sturgeon said.
“Even more specifically, because we know this is an issue and I want to be very clear about this – do not travel to Blackpool this weekend to watch the Old Firm match in a pub.”
An incident management team has been set up to deal with those who have travelled between the town and Scotland.
“I need to advise you that trips to Blackpool are now associated with a large and growing number of Covid cases in Scotland,” the First Minister said.
“Blackpool is being mentioned in Test and Protect conversations far more than any other location outside of Scotland.”
Celtic are scheduled to host Glasgow rivals Rangers in the first Old Firm derby of the season on Saturday, with live coverage on Sky Sports.
Both teams are unbeaten so far in the Scottish Premiership, with Rangers holding a one-point lead at the top of the table over Celtic, who have played one game less.
Watch Celtic vs Rangers on Saturday from 11.30 on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.
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