Celtic v Hibs: Jason Leitch expresses Covid concerns over Premier Sports Cup final
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Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, admitted the game itself is not likely to cause issues, but he is fearful that 50,000 people travelling to and from the national stadium could potentially lead to a further spike in infections as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the country.
Around 19,000 Hibs fans are expected to journey from Edinburgh in trains, buses or cars, while thousands of Celtic supporters will also come from outwith Glasgow on supporters’ buses and on public transport.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon introduced new measures on Tuesday in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus, with a limit on three households placed on any social gatherings and the return of social distancing and table service in hospitality settings.
Football crowds have so far been unaffected, but there are fears that this could change as cases continue to rise.
Professor Leitch said: “Once you get to the cup final, I’m actually not that worried because that’s outdoors, it’s a big space, it will be Scotland in December — it will likely be windy and cold. So the virus won’t like that. What I am worried about is the buses, the cars, the trains getting to that event.”
Leitch also urged fans to get their booster vaccine and to take a lateral flow test before travelling.
Sunday’s final is due to take place at Hampden with a 3pm kick-off.