Permission for the Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow could be withdrawn if “significant concerns” arise, Humza Yousaf has indicated.
The health secretary made the remarks as he said that the situation with Covid-19, as well as the experience of the event, will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
Last week, all tickets for the fan zone at Glasgow Green for Scotland’s three group matches in Euro 2020 sold out within minutes.
Around 6000 people are expected to attend the fan zone every day during the group stages of the tournament.
Speaking at Holyrood, Yousaf provided MSPs with an update on preparations ahead of Euro 2020, which begins on Friday.
He said: “We’re working closely with the Scottish FA, with Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland and other partners on preparations for Euro 2020, including the four matches at Hampden Park and in Glasgow Green fan zone.
“The situation with the virus will be continually monitored in the run up to and of course during the tournament, taking into account the latest scientific and clinical advice, and indeed, local information that we get on the ground.
“In relation to the fan zone, 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 matches.”
The health secretary continued: “However, I want to give an assurance that these decisions are made carefully and with full account taken of clinical advice.
“In the case of the fan zone, it will provide an outdoor, highly-regulated space for fans to watch the tournament.
“Although there will be up to 3000 people in attendance per session, this is in a large, outdoor space with a normal capacity for up to 80,000 people.
“Necessary physical distancing and hygiene measures will of course also be in place. We’re encouraging everyone to make regular use of lateral flow device tests and we’re in discussions with Glasgow City Council about how to reinforce this message for everyone in attendance at the fan zone.”
Yousaf 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.”
He said: “Glasgow City Council, I spoke to them this morning, will email every single ticket holder via their ticketing company.
“They will not only encourage those individuals to test before arrival, but will include a link where they can order their lateral flow devices.
“And I would encourage every single person that has a ticket to any session of the fan zone to please test before arrival.
“You can get that lateral flow device ordered to your home if necessary or pick it up from the multiple sites right across the country.”