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Covid restrictions: Old Firm fans told to abide by rules

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image copyrightSNS
image captionSaturday's Old Firm game is the first meeting between Celtic and Rangers this season

Police have warned football fans about behaving if they cross the border this weekend to watch the Old Firm match.

Pubs in the central belt of Scotland are currently closed until 25 October due to the pandemic.

But Cumbria Police said it was aware of plans by Celtic and Rangers supporters to travel to bars and social clubs in the county for the game.

And those who do put others at risk by flouting the rules have been told they face a fine.

The virus has already had an impact in the build-up to the Scottish Premier League match as three Celtic players have tested positive for Covid and a fourth has been told to self-isolate.

image copyrightPA
image captionThe world famous fixture is normally watched by 60,000 supporters but the stands at Celtic Park will be empty for the 12:30 kick off due to Covid-19.

Supt Matt Kennerley said: "We understand restrictions on licensed premises in Scotland might offer the temptation to travel south of the border to visit our pubs and bars - but anybody breaching rules here does face a fine.

"We would like licensees to be aware of this and to think carefully about their responsibilities and the rules in place to protect everyone."

He highlighted Scottish government advice which says people should not travel outside their local health board area.

Supt Kennerley said officers will be out in town centres and will not hesitate to enforce the regulations.

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The senior officer acknowledged there is frequent traffic across the border but cautioned different restrictions are now in place across the UK.

Supt Kennerley added the virus is now "spreading fast" and urged anybody considering travel to "think carefully" about their actions.

In Cumbria people must comply with the rule of six, wear face coverings on public transport and limit contact to people from no more than two households at a time.

Carlisle City Council urged local businesses to comply with the new legal requirements or they could face getting a fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

A spokeswoman added: "All employers have a legal responsibility under health and safety law to assess and manage the risk of Covid-19 and protect workers and customers.

"This means businesses need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them."

The game at Celtic Park on Saturday is due to kick off at 12:30.

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