EAST Lothian’s football clubs will not return to the pitch until the beginning of next month at the earliest.

Concerns about the “escalating coronavirus situation” have seen football from below the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) Championship down, including the East of Scotland Football League (EOSFL), postponed for the rest of January.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) board met on Sunday to discuss the pandemic "and its impact on the national game at all levels".

A statement on the governing body's website said: “Following a meeting between the Scottish FA and the Minister for Public Health Sport and Wellbeing, both parties have agreed to impose a temporary suspension of all football beneath the Scottish Professional Football League Championship, encompassing all predominantly part-time tiers of the Scottish professional pyramid, from midnight tonight.

“The impacted leagues are: SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League.”

Tranent Juniors were the only East Lothian team in action over the weekend as their Scottish Cup adventure came to an end at East Fife.

The Belters, who sit top of the EOSFL Premier Division, were due to face Dundonald Bluebell this weekend but no games will now take place until February 1 at the earliest.

Fellow Premier Division sides Musselburgh Athletic and Dunbar United were due to face Sauchie and Crossgates respectively this weekend, while Ormiston were due to welcome Kirkcaldy and Dysart, and Haddington Athletic were facing St Andrews in the First Division Conference A.

Preston Athletic were not scheduled to have a game this weekend.

However, those games will all now need to be rescheduled.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA president, said: “The Scottish FA is well aware of the efforts all clubs take to comply with the exacting protocols that were conditional on elite football being given an exemption to continue amid the pandemic.

“Nonetheless, the continuation of football at all levels has weighed increasingly heavy on me as president, my colleagues on the board and the joint response group as we have watched the new strain of the virus spread rapidly.

“While national sport has been afforded the privilege of elite sporting exemption, the risk of mass transportation of untested, largely part-time players is something that cannot be sustained as the cases continue to rise and available hospital beds become increasingly scarce.

“After discussions with the SPFL, the Premiership and Championship will continue on the proviso that both adhere to the existing testing regime.

“The vast majority of teams in those divisions are full-time professional clubs and so the risk of transmission remains manageably low.

“The cost implications to lower-division clubs was one factor but so too the realisation that many – with some notable exceptions – consist of part-time players who are either prevented from working due to the virus or have to work.

“In either case, the risk is currently too great amid the developing nationwide spread of the virus.”