Health

Premier Cup Final: Jason Leitch still ‘worried’ about fans travelling to and from Hampden



SCOTLAND’s National Clinical Director has warned he remains concerned about fans travelling to and from this afternoon’s Premier Sports Cup Final at Hampden – but insisted that he did not advise Nicola Sturgeon to intervene and restrict numbers.

More than 50,000 Hibs and Celtic fans could attend Hampden this afternoon after almost 50,000 fans watched Rangers play Dundee United at Ibrox on Saturday.

Scottish LibDem leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton, criticised the big-capacity games going ahead amid the Omicron fears while several fixtures were abandoned on Saturday due to poor weather conditions.

He said: “I genuinely don’t understand how you can postpone a 50k capacity football fixture because of the weather, but not because of a mutant viral strain that’s infecting 10k Scots a day.

“A hard sell to parents and grandparents deprived a trip to their kids 100-seater nativity.”

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s the Sunday Show, Professor Jason Leitch, warned he was “worried about it”, adding he was also “worried about other parts of the puzzle around the country”.

Professor Leitch confirmed that he did not advise the Scottish Government against big-scale events taking place at full capacity despite the Omicron surge and said he was personally disappointed he couldn’t attend a Deacon Blue concert tonight after the band pulled the performance in absence of advice from government officials.

He said that the public health advice is “to try and have a risk-free event as much as you can”, but stressed there are other people offering sometimes conflicting advice form an economic or mental wellbeing point of view.

READ MORE: Crunch talks between UK and Scottish ministers continuing ahead of further potential measures

Professor Leitch added: “All of the advice comes together and the First Minister makes the best decision she can.

“The public health advice is if you are going to go, vaccinate, test and follow the rules – so buses, trains, all of them worry me.

“The outdoor experience at St Johnstone or Hampden – that doesn’t worry me particularly, but getting to and from it do.”

Professor Leitch was asked whether large gatherings can be labelled as safe.

He said: “I don’t think any of these events are safe, but nor is your studio and nor is my house.

“What we are trying to do is create safer environments for people as best as we possibly can.”





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