A planned fan zone for Euro 2020 in Glasgow could be shut down if “significant concerns” are raised, the Health Secretary has said.
The month-long event, which will allow 6,000 people per day to gather in Glasgow Green for the duration of the tournament, has proven controversial since its announcement.
And with rising coronavirus cases in Scotland, and Glasgow having lagged behind the rest of the country when it comes to easing restrictions, the event has caused concern.
A final decision was expected this week, but in response to a question in Holyrood, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf spoke of the fan zone as though it was going ahead, but said it could be brought to a halt if there are worries about transmission of the virus.
He said: “I understand the concerns that some have expressed, especially in light of the hard sacrifices everyone has made.
“The proposal for a fan zone is not about prioritising football over other priorities, it’s about seeking to cater in as safe a way as possible for fans who want to watch the matches.”
Mr Yousaf also said, in response to a question from Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton, that he considered the fan zone to be a “low risk event”.
He added: “I want to make it clear that the situation with the virus, the application of necessary mitigations and the actual experience of the event will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
“Any changes considered necessary will be made, up to and including withdrawing permission, should significant concerns arise.”
The Scottish Government has also said there will not be mandatory testing in place at the event, despite the concerns of leading public health officials such as Professor Linda Bauld, the chair of public health at Edinburgh University.
However, Mr Yousaf said he would encourage every attendee to use a lateral flow test before they visit the fan zone, adding that Glasgow City Council will contact every ticket holder doing the same while providing a link to order tests from the Government.
“I would encourage every single person that has a ticket to any session of the fan zone to please test before arrival,” he said.
Euro 2020 is being played at venues across Europe this year after being postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.