Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf said “nobody is blaming football fans” following another sharp rise in positive coronavirus cases being recorded.
Mr Yousaf was in Dundee on Thursday to announce a new Scottish Government bursary scheme for student paramedics.
His comments follow data released by Public Health Scotland which showed 2,000 people with lab-confirmed Covid-19 attended at least one event marking Scotland’s Euros campaign while infectious with the disease.
Mr Yousaf said the fan zone in Glasgow could not be described as a “super spreader” location, but 55 positive tests returned to the public health body were from people who attended the venue.
Public Health Scotland said almost two-thirds of the cases have been linked with travel to London.
Scotland has the highest positive case rate in the UK, but Mr Yousaf said the data pointed toward further restrictions being lifted because the hospitalisation rate was much lower than the second wave in January.
Around 275 people are currently hospitalised in Scotland with a positive covid result, down from more than 2,300 in late January.
“Nobody blaming football fans”
Earlier this week more than 12,000 people attended the British and Irish Lions rugby match versus Japan at Murrayfield, while Wimbledon is expected to see more than 20,000 fans through the gates every day over the coming weeks.
Mr Yousaf said: “We know the vast majority of the cases tagged with the Euro tag have been indoors, where people have been travelling from London to watch the game at Wembley. So the fan zone itself was low risk.
“If you’re going to watch the rest of the games I advise you watch in an outdoor setting which is less risky than an indoor one.
“We don’t doubt the Euros have had an impact, all we can do is keep emphasising what people have to do, what the rules and regulations are. Ultimately people have to take personal responsibility for that.”
“Nobody is blaming football fans. I’m a football fan…I’ve tried to watch as many games as I can this tournament.
“All we are saying is we know the attraction of the Euros, especially this year with Scotland playing after 23 years out of a major tournament.
“There are still games to go and some great teams left and stages to go of this tournament.
“We are asking people in the remaining days and weeks of this vaccination programme continues to roll out, to please exercise judgement, whether that’s seeing pals, going to the pub, enjoying hospitality…please exercise caution.”