Rangers are set to welcome fully vaccinated supporters back to Ibrox Stadium after the winter break following an announcement by the Scottish Government.
Supporters will be expected to show proof of triple-vaccination in order to gain access to the ground unless they have only received their second jab within the last four months.
This can be done so via the NHS Scotland Covid App – which will be updated with booster jabs.
The Scottish Government have also claimed that football clubs must now check 50% of the crowd meaning around 25,000 supporters will be subject to checks at Ibrox.
“I can confirm today that the attendance limit of 500 at large scale outdoor events will be lifted from Monday, January 17,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon [Herald].
“That means, for example, spectators will be permitted again at major outdoor sporting events including football fixtures scheduled for early next week and the forthcoming Six Nations rugby matches.
“The Covid certification scheme will remain in place for these and other events and venues previously covered – but with two important changes.
“Firstly our guidance will now stipulate that the organisers of large events of 1000 or more people should check the certification status of at least 50 per cent of attendees rather than the current 20 per cent or at least 1000 people, whichever figure is highest.
“And second, from Monday the requirement to be fully vaccinated for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.”
Rangers set to welcome fans back to Ibrox as strict Scottish Government relaxes rules
The news comes after the Scottish Government relented on strict protocols which meant stadiums could only house 500 supporters – including in Rangers’ 2-0 win over St Mirren on Boxing Day.
This led to 10 of the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs voting to bring the winter break forward with supporters set to return as of next Monday.
Celtic and Hibs will restart the Premiership season at Celtic Park on Monday the 17th of January before Rangers travel to Aberdeen at Pittodrie a day later.
The news means that Rangers are set to play in front of a full-house in the north east on what promises to be an enthralling return to Scottish football.
The decision – vaccine passport allowing – comes after Rangers supporters had protested at Holyrood about the controls on football crowds.
Claiming all fans and football had been made “scapegoats” amid the Omicron Covid-19 wave, the Union Bears took to the Scottish Parliament to vent their frustration.
This is something made even more pertinent by comments made by Scotland’s national clinical director, which admitted the controls had made little difference.
There are many Rangers fans who believe Old Firm rivals Celtic – hamstrung with a series of injuries – were opportunistic amid the Covid-19 wave and pushed for the winter break to be brought forward.
But whatever the case, it is certainly good news that supporters will be back in their numbers from here on out, meaning the rearranged Old Firm on February 2nd is set to go ahead in front of a full Celtic Park.
Rangers fans will be hoping one of the club’s key players will be involved amid news he could be set to miss six matches after the restart.