Professional football in Scotland will restart from August 1, the Scottish Government has announced.
Teams will be allowed to take part in “appropriate training matches” with immediate effect.
But all matches will be played without fans in the stands until further notice, and sport minister Joe FitzPatrick said there is no “imminent prospect” of that changing.
As part of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said players will be tested weekly from Monday.
Mr FitzPatrick said: “The Scottish Government appreciates the importance of football to many people in Scotland and I share the enthusiasm of many in seeing our national game returning at elite level, albeit behind closed doors.
“That’s only possible thanks to the national effort to continue to suppress this devastating virus, not to mention the work of the Scottish Government, public health authorities, and football governing bodies to come up with a viable and safe solution for football to return.
“Given the nature of the virus there is not an imminent prospect of fans being allowed back into stadiums, but we will continue to review this situation in the coming months. I am sure everyone will appreciate that this will only be able to happen when it is safe to do so.
“In the meantime I welcome the progress that football clubs can get back on the pitch, behind closed doors.”
Only the Scottish Premiership is due to return next month, while lower league clubs have voted to postpone the start of their season until October.
But a row is brewing after the Premiership fixture list put the first Old Firm game of the season on October 17, the same day lower league football is slated to return.
Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster described confirmation of the August 1 start date as a “significant step forward”, adding it “provides the necessary clarity to prepare for the new season”.
Mike Mulraney, interim president of the SFA, said: “Scottish football, and the millions of fans for whom the national game is a fabric of their daily lives, are now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.
“We welcome the Scottish Government’s approval of the August 1 start date for the Scottish Premiership and the ability for Premiership clubs to prepare for that kick-off immediately.”
In an announcement in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said outdoor sports for those under 18 can restart from Monday – something Mr Mulraney said will give “great encouragement for boys and girls across the country”.
He added: “I would urge everyone to continue to adhere to the public health messages to ensure no complacency as the return to football becomes tantalisingly close.
“We will continue to plan for the return of the game at all levels and communicate milestones at the appropriate time.”