COVID curbs on Scottish football are expected to continue until at least January 17, Nicola Sturgeon said today.

The First Minister confirmed the limit of 500-fans would remain in place this week, and likely longer, as no changes were made to the recently imposed rules on large gatherings.

With the rules continuing it's prompted fears the strict limits will restrict the Glasgow derby next month to 500 spectators.

The match had been set to take place on January 2 but was shifted to February 2 as the winter break was brought forward.

SPFL chiefs decided to move the winter break to begin immediately following the Boxing day fixtures with 12 matches, including the Old Firm, rescheduled as a result.

It was hoped that the fixtures being moved would mean full capacity when the matchday comes round, but that depends on Scottish Government decisions on weekly reviews of the rules.

Today's Scottish Parliament hearing was told the rules would likely remain in place until January 17, but it could be extended if it's deemed necessary by the government.

Here's everything you need to know.

What are the Covid restrictions on fan numbers ahead of Celtic vs Rangers?

As it stands, just 500 fans are allowed into football stadia under Scottish Government Covid curbs.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the new rules, which came into force on Boxing Day, amid a surge in Omicron cases in Scotland.

The curbs were put in place for an initial three-weeks with a review or the restrictions due next week before further decisions on restrictions.

Will the restrictions end before Celtic vs Rangers? 

There's no indication yet whether the restrictions will end before the February 2 showdown.

Nicola Sturgeon today revealed restrictions will remain in place until at least January 17. 

That means it's likely the first matches back after the winter break are limited to 500 fans, however restrictions will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

The First Minister said today: "While we are not proposing any additional measures at this stage, I will confirm that the existing protections and guidance will remain in place for the coming week pending further review."

"I can confirm that the restrictions on large gatherings, the requirement for distancing between groups of people in public indoor places and for table service in hospitality venues serving alcohol on the premises will remain in force for now and indeed, I expect, until 17 January."

"I hope very much we won't have to go beyond the 17th January with these restrictions.

"But I don't do anybody any good if I try to give certainty ahead of our ability to do that."

How many fans will be allowed to Celtic vs Rangers? 

If the restrictions remain in place as it stands then just 500 fans would be allowed into the Glasgow derby. 

However, reviews of the restrictions could mean a change to the limit on fans.

It's not clear whether the restrictions would be eased gradually or fully when the Scottish Government decide they can be eased.

There remains the possibility that a full capacity crowd could be allowed into the ground, but it's also possible that just 500 are allowed entry or a figure in between if restrictions are relaxed on a gradual scale.

When is Celtic vs Rangers? 

Celtic are scheduled to play Rangers at Parkhead in February 2.

The match was initially to be played on January 2 but was moved as the winter break was brought forward by the SPFL.

Celtic were among the ten Scottish Premiership clubs who called for the break to be moved with Rangers and Ross County wanting games to be played.

The match will be played a 7.45pm on Wednesday, February 2.

Could Celtic vs Rangers be postponed if restrictions continue? 

It's unlikely the match would be rescheduled, even if fan restrictions remain in place.

SPFL chief Neil Doncaster insists there very little wriggle-room for re-arranging fixtures.

And with both Celtic and Rangers in European competition it's even more difficult to find rescheduled matchdays.

Doncaster said: "There is no further room. We've used the two available slots that exist. Although so many clubs wanted to postpone all three festive games, there simply isn't the space on the calendar to do that. 

"We had two slots in January and the beginning of February, which we've used to put the 29 December and New Year games into, but there really isn't any further room."

There is an SPFL rule which could see the match postponed if either club are missing three or more players thorough international duty - but it's not clear if either club will be affected or appeal the fixture.

Rule G7 reads: "A club shall be entitled to apply to the Board for the postponement of any Official Match where three or more of its Players who would otherwise have participated in such match are unavailable through international selection and, following receipt of such an application, the Board may postpone and rearrange the relevant Official Match in accordance with Rule G3."