Police have warned they will make arrests if there are mass gatherings after the Old Firm game on Sunday.
Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said a “significant policing operation” will be in place if the match goes ahead, after thousands of Rangers fans breached lockdown rules to gather in the streets of Glasgow after their side were confirmed as Scottish Premiership champions on March 7.
He said clubs have acted “really, really responsibly” to convey the stay at home message to fans, and he urged supporters to behave in a responsible manner.
A final decision has not yet been made on whether the game at Celtic Park will go ahead, but Mr Higgins said he is hopeful it can take place.
He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Since we saw the scenes in George Square a couple of weeks ago, ourselves, the Scottish Government and the clubs have done everything within our power to continually reinforce the message to both sets of fans that actually to stop the spread of this terrible, terrible disease people need to stay at home and not get involved in mass gatherings.
“So far we’ve had a really positive response so we’re hopeful that the game will go ahead, but both sets of fans need to act in a responsible manner and stay at home and watch the game on television.”
He said police have visited fans from both clubs to discourage them from attending gatherings, and asked them to pass that message on to other supporters.
Mr Higgins said he is “hopeful that the message has landed”, but warned police will make arrests if need be.
He said: “For this weekend we have got a significant policing operation in place and our approach will be the same as it has been right the way through the pandemic, we will engage with people, we will encourage them to disperse and if they don’t heed our warning then yes we will move into enforcement and we will arrest people, but we don’t want to be in that place.
“What I’m urging everybody is listen to the clubs, listen to the messages from your managers and your captains and please, please, please stay at home.”
The gatherings of Rangers fans on March 7 were described by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as “infuriating and disgraceful”, and Scottish Government ministers raised the prospect of the derby being called off over fears it could lead to more crowds.
Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith suggested the celebrations could have caused a spike in coronavirus infections, and there has been an increase in cases in Glasgow and surrounding areas in recent days.
National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch urged Rangers and Celtic fans to heed the warnings.
He said: “Our message is three words – it’s ‘stay at home’.
“That’s been the message from Steven Gerrard, from John Kennedy, from Scott Brown, from all of the other players and managers, and the regulatory bodies, and that message has been very clear since we met them last Friday.
“I’ve been impressed with their response, they’ve done what they can.”