A few scare stories aside last night, I still fully expect that today we’ll discover that the limit on Celtic fans getting into the ground next Monday will be lifted, and not only because the club has actually advertised looking for status checkers.
As I’ve previously said, there is no longer the remotest justification for denying fans access to grounds. There is no acceptable basis for preventing it when everything else is open. The Scottish Government cannot pretend to be taking action on the virus when all it is really doing is punishing football fans because we’re an easy target.
Everyone in government accepts that this thing isn’t as serious as they feared. Have we peaked yet? We will soon enough; the daily figures make that clear.
“Some of our projections pre-Christmas have not quite come to pass because we’ve managed to mitigate to some extent what the Omicron wave would otherwise have presented for us,” Sturgeon said last night. She freely admits that the worst case scenarios were wrong.
Surely she is not daft enough to think shutting down football for one extra weekend caused that big a drop? The other mitigations she talked about – and which were in place whilst we were going to games – are what made the difference here; masking up, vaccine passports and the like. If she extends some of those it will do more good than shutting down stadiums.
One of the problems here is the apparent lack of consistency in the messaging, that and the media trying to decode the words of politicians and the national clinical director. Sometimes, this guy and the ministers seem to be talking off a different page. At other times the media sees what it wants to see. Last night was a little bit of both.
Nothing fundamental has changed in the picture which would alter my view of the other day, that football in Scotland is about to recommence in front of full houses. It may be that not all the data which would drive an alternative decision is in view.
Frankly, I would find that very hard to believe since the Scottish Government website publishes the important figures every day and the trend there is obvious.
Some newspapers say the decision won’t be made until next week; the Celtic game at home to Hibs is next Monday night. The Ibrox club travels to Pittodrie the following night. Fans need to know if they will be allowed in those grounds; the decision must come this week and if it does not then Celtic should demand recompense at the very least.
It’s going to be an interesting announcement. She makes it this afternoon just after two. Where possible we should all be tuned in.