For Celtic, Rangers and the Scottish Premiership title, what Scotland’s second ban implies

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Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon was pressured yesterday to send the nation into a second lockdown following a spike in 19 cases involving Covid.

The most recent restrictions came into force at midnight in all Level 4 areas of the five-tier structure of the Scottish Government and will continue throughout the month.

It has been determined that top-level sport will proceed, despite the fresh restrictions forcing most to stay home. So here’s what the latest suspension in Scotland means for Celtic, Rangers and the rest of the Scottish Premiership.

Will soccer proceed?

An exemption list has been released by the Scottish government stating that ‘those participating in professional sport, for training, as a coach or as an event participant’ are among those required to leave their homes.

This implies that, despite the stringent testing steps, Celtic, Rangers and the rest of the Scottish Premiership can now go about their business as usual.

Would Celtic be permitted to return from their Dubai training camp?

The United Arab Emirates is on the new official excluded countries list – ensuring that when they return to Scotland, Celtic players and staff will not have to separate themselves for 10 days.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said today that “not a particularly good example” was Celtic’s trip to Dubai.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, he said, “They’re going to be let back in, but in doing so, they’re going to have to follow all of the rules.”

“Frankly, at this point, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that. I don’t think this proposal is a strong one.

I don’t think it sets a very good example for individuals when we ask people to take on essential constraints on lifestyle.

“I think we all need to show leadership on this particular issue.”

Could the Scottish Premiership season be halted?

As with the first suspension in March, there is always the possibility that Scottish soccer could be forced to take an unwanted break.

However, with a rigorous testing system in place, the message at the moment is that there is no risk to the beautiful game in Scotland.

With a 19-point lead over Rangers at the top of the table, Steven Gerrard’s side will be hoping that the season continues as usual so that they can claim a historic title as soon as possible.

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