Restrictions on household visiting should be lifted on Christmas Day, Scottish Labour’s leader has said.
Richard Leonard suggested the First Minister make an announcement on plans for Christmas soon.
In an interview with the i newspaper, he said an announcement could give people something hopeful to look forward to.
Taking a “rigid” approach to the rules would lead to people flouting them over the festive season, he claimed.
Mr Leonard said: “We think there needs to be an attempt to try to find sensible, special guidelines for Christmas.
“If we can have special guidelines for Halloween, surely we can have special guidelines for Christmas which are a bit more responsive to the human condition?
“If we are still at the point of having restrictions that prevent household-to-household contact indoors, then maybe there could be a relaxation of that, for example.”
He added: “There is a danger that people’s heads will go down and there will be a growing spirit of pessimism, and I don’t think that’s good either for people’s mental welfare or for the societal need for people to co-operate with the guidelines and the restrictions.”
In a recorded address released on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to stick to the new five-tier guidelines to secure some “Christmas cheer”.
The “difficult” restrictions on household visiting introduced a few weeks ago are having an effect on transmission rates of the virus, she said.
The First Minister said: “Given the challenge we face, I cannot guarantee that we won’t have to return to the highest level of restrictions across the whole country.
“But I do know the best way for us to avoid that – and I hope secure some degree of Christmas cheer – is to keep abiding by all the rules and guidance.”