NICOLA Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that Scotland would be moving beyond Level 0 on August 9 as coronavirus restrictions are eased throughout the country - but football fans will still need to wait a little longer to return to stadia in their droves.

Under current restrictions on large gatherings, organisers must apply to the local authority to gain permission for a crowd of over 2000, depending on the venue's facilities and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Some of Scotland's larger football grounds have welcomed back thousands of supporters in recent weeks. Ibrox hosted 23,000 for Rangers' Premiership opener against Livingston on Saturday, Celtic Park will have 24,500 in attendance against Dundee this weekend and 5272 Jambos filled the stands at Tynecastle at the weekend.

Clubs are eager to get more fans through the turnstiles but they will be made to wait a little longer, as the First Minister explained at Tuesday's Covid briefing.

She said: "While we expect the careful return of large-scale events we will, for a limited period, keep in place the processes through which organisers of outdoor events of more than 5000 and indoor events of more than 2000 will have to apply for permission.

"This will allow us and local authorities to be assured of the arrangements in place to reduce risk."