Scottish Premiership clubs have been given the green light to resume contact training from Monday.
The suspension of all Scottish football activity was lifted on June 11 but only for top-flight clubs to train in a physically-distanced manner.
But the latest development now gives clubs five weeks of contact training before the Scottish Premiership season is due to kick off.
A statement from the Scottish football authorities read: “The Joint Response Group can now confirm that ministers have formally approved full contact training for Scottish Premiership clubs from tomorrow, Monday June 29.
“We would therefore encourage clubs to inform all team staff as soon as possible to facilitate the updated guidance, and clarify that the approval for full contact training is inclusive of all Phase 4 requirements outlined in the Joint Response Group Return to Training protocols reissued on Friday.
“Ministers have underlined that this return to full contact training is subject to observing public health measures, including testing.”
A spokesperson added: “Today’s confirmation from Scottish Government ministers is welcomed and is another significant step towards the resumption of the Scottish football season, beginning with the Premiership on August 1.”
The news continues the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government has been working closely with the football authorities to ensure our national game can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
“When the minister for sport (Joe FitzPatrick) met the SPFL and Scottish FA on 29 May, the football authorities proposed 16 July for the resumption of contact training. On 18 June, we were subsequently asked for contact training to resume immediately.
“After detailed consideration of the proposal and ensuring protecting public health remains our top priority, we are now content to approve an earlier resumption than previously proposed to allow football players – supported by appropriate public health measures including testing – to resume contact training.”
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