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Highland League to continue with increased Covid protocols

There will no winter shutdown of the Highland League
There will no winter shutdown of the Highland League

The Breedon Highland League will continue despite new Covid-19 restrictions being introduced from Boxing Day.

From Sunday crowds inside stadiums will be capped at 500 supporters for at least three weeks as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to reduce the spread of the omicron variant.

Although the restriction on crowds has led to the Scottish Premiership bringing forward its winter break the cap shouldn’t impact the majority of Highland League fixtures.

The decision to keep playing was confirmed following a league management committee meeting.

To try to ensure the Highland League can continue to function safely clubs have refreshed protocols that were in place earlier in the pandemic and have also agreed to daily lateral flow testing like their counterparts in Scotland’s top four divisions.

League secretary Rod Houston said: “It has just really been refreshing awareness in terms maximising mitigation.

“We’ve been checking in case there are any issues and making sure we’re all clear in terms of how we can get through the next while.

“In terms of spectator numbers we’ve had clarification and it’s 500 spectators at a game, not just 500 people.

“That makes a difference in terms of some of the bigger games in the league.

Highland League secretary Rod Houston

“Clubs are going to have to look at how they manage crowds for bigger games and whether they reintroduce live streaming to help with that sort of thing.

“We went over those sort of things, but there is nothing in it that clubs haven’t done or experienced already.

“The clubs have built up a lot of expertise, 18 months ago we were all swimming in a thick soup in terms of ‘what do we do for this?’

“Clubs are a lot more confident now and a lot of them are already making their own decisions on things such as suspending hospitality.

“They have a lot more confidence as a result of the expertise that has been built up which I think is very important over the next couple of months.”

  • Meanwhile, Monday’s game between Fraserburgh and Nairn County at Bellslea has been postponed because County have crossed the player unavailability threshold due for Covid-19 positive test and self-isolation requirements.

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