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Ross County to be able to welcome capacity crowd in Dingwall on return from winter break after Scottish Government confirms restrictions on outdoor events will be lifted next week

By Andrew Henderson

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Football fans will be allowed to return to matches in full, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Before Christmas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had announced that outdoor events, including football matches, would be limited to crowds of 500 in attendance from Boxing Day.

At the time, Sturgeon said she expected the restrictions to last up to three weeks, citing the number of emergency services required at events of that size over the festive period as a reason for the limits.

Fans will be allowed to return to stadia in larger numbers from next week. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Fans will be allowed to return to stadia in larger numbers from next week. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Now, at the latest update to parliament, the First Minister has confirmed that those rules will be lifted as of next Monday, January 17.

That means that Premiership clubs will be able to host capacity crowds when they return from the winter break, which had been moved forward in the hope that exactly this scenario would play out.

There will still be some procedures in place, though, with organisers being asked to check the vaccine passports of at least 50 per cent of attendees or 1000 people, whichever number is higher. They will not be mandatory for entry, though, as negative lateral flow tests will provide another option.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay had previously said he expected the limits on crowds to continue past the winter break, while chairman Roy MacGregor had called for the return of fans as normal, but the Staggies will be able to welcome far more than 500 fans from next week.

County's first match back from the break is at the Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall, as they host Motherwell next Tuesday evening.

They will also see Rangers visit before the end of the month, with home matches against Aberdeen, Livingston and St Johnstone coming up in February.

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