St Johnstone’s Premiership clash with Aberdeen on Saturday is ON despite two positive Covid-19 tests returned by Dons players.
Scottish football’s Joint Response Group (JRG) have revealed Derek McInnes will be without eight of his squad for the game against Saints, live on Sky Sports, as a result of the coronavirus developments.
The players who have tested positive – along with six stars who have been in close proximity to the duo – are now self-isolating.
Hampden chiefs said: “The Joint Response Group has been informed that Aberdeen FC has returned two preliminary positive tests for COVID-19 among its playing squad.
“One player has now been confirmed as a positive by a follow-up National Health Service test, while the second player is awaiting the result of a follow-up NHS test.
“In light of the First Minister’s increased restrictions imposed on the city of Aberdeen since a significant outbreak of COVID-19 this week, and following further investigation by NHS Grampian’s Health Protection Team, the Scottish Government has instructed that both players will require to self-isolate, along with a further six players found to have been in close proximity to the initial positive player.
“The initial positive player will require to self-isolate for 10 days from yesterday, with the remaining seven players to self-isolate for 14 days from yesterday.
“This instruction for self-isolation has been unanimously endorsed by the Joint Response Group. In light of the action taken, and after consultation with Scottish Government, Aberdeen’s Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone on Saturday will go ahead as scheduled.”
JRG chair Rod Petrie added: “As we have said from the outset, public health is the absolute priority of the Joint Response Group.
“As soon as we were informed of the positive tests, the information was immediately referred to the Scottish Government via our Chief Medical Consultant.
“Given the well-documented outbreak in Aberdeen it was imperative that we took the swiftest action to enable the local Health Protection Team to respond immediately.
“The Scottish Government’s instruction to the JRG was clear and unequivocal, as was our support of that instruction.
“Given the circumstances, we issue the strongest possible message to all clubs to ensure compliance with the twice-weekly testing procedure and Scottish football’s Return to Playing Protocol. It is imperative that everyone adheres to Scottish Government public health advice.”
All eyes have been on the Granite City over the last few days as far as the coronavirus in Scotland is concerned, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon increasing lockdown restrictions for seven days on Wednesday due to a spike in cases.
Bars and restaurants were ordered to close, there is a five-mile travel limit for leisure activities and people from outside Aberdeen have been encouraged not to travel there.
The Dons stars’ positive tests are said to be linked to a city centre Covid-19 cluster.