Hearts have been forced to scrap Friday’s pre-season friendly at Berwick Rangers due to a Covid outbreak at Tynecastle.

The Jambos were due to travel to Shielfield Park to face the Lowland League outfit as they start preparations for their Scottish Premiership return.

However, Hearts chiefs contacted their counterparts at the Borders club this morning to inform them they couldn’t take part in the bounce match as five members of staff and players are self isolating.

It is a blow for Robbie Neilson ahead of their first summer friendly with another match planned against Linlithgow Rose on Sunday.

That match will also likely have to be scrapped as the players and staff enter a period of self isolation in line with Government guidelines.

The Jambos reported back for pre-season training earlier this week and have been thoroughly tested in terms of their fitness and condition ahead of the hard yards being put in next week.

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But they now face a waiting game to find out whether they can continue as planned after the latest test results.

The Scottish football Joint Response Group will discuss the situation and a decision will be taken from there.

A club statement read: "Hearts’ pre-season friendly match against Berwick Rangers tonight has been cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests at the club’s training base.

"Five members of Hearts’ football department are now self-isolating in line with COVID-19 guidelines after returning positive lateral flow and PCR tests.

"The club immediately contacted the relevant football authorities upon confirmation of each positive test and it continues to follow protocols to the highest of standards.

"We have also kept our opponents fully informed and it is with regret to our supporters that we will not begin our pre-season friendly campaign as scheduled.

"An update on the club’s friendly match with Linlithgow Rose, scheduled for Saturday 26th, will be provided in due course."

Hearts will start their season with a Premier Sport Cup campaign before facing Celtic in the Premiership on July 31.