The Hearts’ planned test match against Berwick Rangers tonight has been canceled.

Robbie Neilson would play his team for their first game in 56 days at Shielfield Park after securing his return to the Scottish Premiership.

But five positive Covid tests on the players and coaching staff at Tynecastle meant the game had to be canceled.

A Hearts XI made up of those who didn’t play tonight will face Linlithgow Rose tomorrow, but that game is now a big doubt too.

This also applies to any further training at Oriam.

The Jambos signed up for pre-season training earlier this week and have been thoroughly tested for fitness and stamina before the hard yards hit the next week.

But now they have to wait and see whether they can continue as planned according to the latest test results.

The Scottish Football Joint Response Group will discuss the situation and take a decision from there.

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

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“Five members of Hearts’ football division are now self-isolating under COVID-19 guidelines after returning positive lateral flow and PCR tests.

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

“We have also informed our opponents comprehensively and we regret our supporters that we will not start our friendship campaign before the season as planned.

“An update on the club’s friendly against Linlithgow Rose scheduled for Saturday 26 July will be provided in due course.”

Hearts were forced to stop training not long after the start of last August when a series of Covid Protocol violations by players from other clubs caused the JRG to suspend all sub-major football.

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