JOHN SWINNEY today refused to offer any fan assurances over the rescheduled clash between Celtic and Rangers in February.
The Glasgow derby – initially due to be played on January 2 – was pushed back to Wednesday, February 2 after the SPFL brought forward the winter break.
Governing body chiefs ruled the break should be moved to follow the Boxing Day fixtures after clubs appealed with Scottish Governemnt curbs limiting capacity to just 500 fans.
It’s hoped that following three-weeks of the strict curbs fan capacity restrictions will be eased meaning a full-house for the powderkeg clash. But that remains up in the air until the Scottish Government review next month.
Deputy First Minister Mr Swinney was today quizzed over whether there was any decision over fan entry for the match in February – but he made no guarantees as Omicron Covid case numbers continue to soar.
Responding to a direct question on the Celtic vs Rangers fixture, Mr Swinney told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “Well that’s a long way off, the 2nd of February, so we’ll take that as it comes.
“What I would say is that the government doesn’t want to have these restrictions in place a moment longer than they are necessary.”
Mr Swinney also discussed the “galloping pace” of the spread of Omicron in Scotland when asked if wider curbs would remain in place longer than the initial three-week period.
He said: “You can see already in the space of about a week or so we’ve gone from having an average daily case level in Scotland of about just over 5,000 to around about 10,000 over the course of the last few days.
“So people can see with their own eyes the galloping pace at which Omicron is moving through Scotland.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to provide an update on the Covid situation in Scotland at 2pm today.