The Grassroots sub group of the Coronavirus Joint Response Group is delighted to be able to release details of stage three of the Route Map for the return to football – ‘Return to Play’.

These Match Day Protocol documents, created in conjunction with sportscotland and Scottish Government, provide clubs with information to enable them to plan friendly games while still adhering to social distancing restrictions and public health guidance.

Key areas include:

Local Friendly Games – Clubs will be permitted to play friendly matches from Saturday, 12 September. These should be organised as locally as possible and clubs should seek guidance from their Affiliated National Association and Leagues in this regard.

Changing areas – We realise the challenge due to the lack of changing facilities and are working closely with all relevant stakeholders to provide workable solutions. Any changing facilities to be used must fully comply with all relevant Scottish Government COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, must be used for the minimum time possible, face coverings must be worn at all times and there will be no access to showers. All facility use must be approved via Affiliated National Associations or relevant leagues and further guidance will be provided in due course. In the interim period where no facilities are available, players must arrive prepared to play in full kit, play the match and then return home.

COVID Officer – All teams must ensure they have a trained COVID Officer prior to participating in any games. All Affiliated National Associations/Leagues will have been in contact to explain the process to their members.

Grassroots Chair Thomas McKeown said: “We have been on a journey together throughout lockdown and this stage provides us with a great opportunity to return to match play.

“To enable us all to move to stage three of the route map, all clubs have to continue to follow the Return to Play guidance, otherwise we will not be able to move forward.

“I am sure that many of us thought it might be 2021 before we would be able to take these positive steps forward which can only be done with the hard work and support of the whole football family.”

We would seek to remind all clubs at this moment that all formal match play activity between clubs remains suspended with the proposed lifting of the suspension due on Friday, 11 September, which would allow clubs to play matches from 12 September. We would ask all clubs to continue to follow the ‘Return to Training’ guidance which will hopefully allow us to move forward to stage three in the route map.

Adults Match Day Protocol –  Scottish FA – Phase 3.5 – Adults Matchday Protocol (3)

Children & Young People Match Day Protocol – Scottish FA – Phase 3.5 – CYP Matchday Protocol-1 (3)

More information can be found on the Scottish FA Return to Football Hub