Rangers fans will need to show proof of vaccination or vaccine passports to enter Ibrox Stadium for matches under new Scottish Government rules.
The SNP and Green led Holyrood coalition has decided that any events over 10k people will demand spectators to provide evidence of vaccination status.
The controversial decision has been met with some criticism – with Greens leader Patrick Harvie appearing to reverse his initial stance on the proposal – and will have wide-ranging implications, especially in the world of sport.
“I can't see a way for it to be done without widening inequalities and injustices".
Today, Scottish Greens will vote FOR vaccine passports. pic.twitter.com/JCO1RX5hbr
— Big Brother Watch (@BigBrotherWatch) September 9, 2021
It is not just in outdoor seated crowds where the passports will be necessary – unseated outdoor events over 4000 people will require them, as will indoor events with over 500 people.
The rules are set to come into place from October 1st and with close to 50k season ticket holders at Ibrox, there will be plenty affected by the decision.
A spokesperson for the Scottish football coronavirus Joint Response Group had this to say [Sky Sports]:
“Both the Scottish FA and the SPFL wholeheartedly support the national effort to eradicate COVID-19.
“We have been in discussions with Scottish Government officials regarding the practical implications of vaccine passports for major events, and in particular the risk of health and safety issues and crowd disorder if fans are delayed getting into stadiums, which everyone naturally wants to avoid.
“With only three weeks before the 1st October deadline, we are committed to working hard to develop an effective and workable solution.
“With that in mind, we are keen to explore whether any vaccine passport regime can include spot-checks, rather than blanket inspections of everyone attending games.”
Vaccine passports at centre of moral, political and philosophical dilemma
Vaccine passports bring with them an immense moral, social and cultural dilemma which many believe breaches into coercion, discrimination and authoritarian leadership.
Whilst the public health message might be a sensible one in the circumstances, the removal of freedoms via statutory controls brings with it a philosophical conundrum which simply won’t be solved with brute force or such heavy state intervention.
Individuals who refuse to get vaccinated do so at their own risk – and as is their own right – despite the potentially wide-reaching implications on society and its structures.
There’s no black and white here but this stern authoritative action is not in keeping with the talk of an apparently progressive Scottish Government and we expect some backlash to this decision.
The move will impact hundreds if not thousands of Rangers supporters who’ve splashed out for season tickets and there will be more to come when the system launches in October.
Read here why the Gers are set to play in front of an empty stadium for reasons completely different from Covid-19.