Nicola Sturgeon says Scotland’s Covid rules will now be reviewed on a daily basis as fears continue to grow over the new Omicron variant.
The first minister has told Holyrood that there are now 99 cases of the variant in the country – a tenfold increase on last week.
Ms Sturgeon says Omicron is now present in nine of Scotland’s 14 health board areas.
She told MSPs on Tuesday: “Our health protection teams are working hard through contact tracing, testing and isolation to slow the spread of Omicron cases and I want to thank them for the excellent work they are doing.
“However, given the nature of transmission, I would expect to see a continued and potentially rapid rise in cases in the days ahead and for Omicron to account for a rising share of overall cases.
“All of this explains, I hope, the requirement for government to review the situation on a daily rather than a weekly basis at this stage.”
Meanwhile Scots who were working from home at the start of the pandemic have now been asked to return to home working until the middle of next month.
The first minister said: “To be blunt, if you had staff working from home at this start of the pandemic, please now enable them to do so again.
“We are asking you to do this from now until the middle of January when we will review this advice again.”
‘Test before meeting people from other households’
In addition, she is asking people in Scotland to take a lateral flow test before mixing with anyone outside of their household bubble, saying: “I am not excluding myself from this.
“I am currently doing a test every morning before coming to work and I will do a test on any occasion I mix with others over the festive period.
“And I will ask anyone visiting my home over Christmas to do likewise.
“LFD kits are easy to get through NHS Inform or from local pharmacies or test centres and they are easy to use.
“So please do this. It will help break transmission chains.
“If we all do all of these things the, even with a more transmissible variant, I hope we can avoid any further measures.
“I cannot guarantee this however and, given the situation we face it is important to remain open to any proportionate measures, for example the extension of Covid certification, that may help us reduce the risks should the situation deteriorate.”
RECAP on everything Nicola Sturgeon said HERE