Scottish Premier League clubs must conduct daily Covid-19 tests from Monday after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed his “deep concern” about the acceleration of variable Omicron across society.

The Scottish Football Joint Response Group (JRG), which consists of representatives from the Scottish Football Association and the SPFL, said players and staff will have to be tested daily until the start of the winter break on 3 January.

A decision on continuing daily testing will be made before the league resumes on January 26.

Further discussions will take place with the Scottish Women’s Premier League and Leagues 1 and 2 about whether they should also undergo daily testing.

The JRG has also approached the Scottish government to offer football stadiums as vaccine hubs.

Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “The First Minister today once again made clear the reality of the Omicron variant in Scotland and I am delighted with the swift response of our Premier League clubs in adhering to the enhanced protocols.

“We will continue to encourage compliance with Scottish Government’s public health guidance and play our part in suppressing and eliminating the latest in this ongoing pandemic.”

Sunday December 26 12:00 noon

Departure 12:30 pm

Rod Petrie, Head of the Joint Response Group, added: “We need no reminder that we are entering another challenging period in the country’s ongoing battle to suppress and overcome Covid-19 and, in particular, the emerging Omicron variant.

“Scottish football is not immune to the impact of the pandemic and we must be very vigilant during this particularly busy period ahead of the winter break.

“We remain in regular dialogue with the Scottish Government and public health and policy officials, and in order to strengthen protection, we have today increased our protocols commensurate with the challenges we face.

He added, “We thank our clubs for their commitment to implement them temporarily until the winter break, and we are pleased to support efforts to overcome the virus through vaccination and promotion programs and strict adherence to protocols and public health guidelines.”

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