Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon rules out further restrictions on household mixing before Christmas

Nicola Sturgeon has said fresh Covid restrictions on household mixing will not be introduced before Christmas Day – despite Scotland recording its highest test positivity rate since January

By Russell Jackson
Monday, 20th December 2021, 8:39 pm

The First Minister last night said guidance would not change, with people advised not to cancel Christmas plans but to reduce contacts as much as possible in the coming days.

In a statement released on Monday evening, Ms Sturgeon said: “The Cabinet will discuss tomorrow and I will set out in Parliament if there are any additional or wider steps necessary, but I want to be clear to individuals that the advice I gave out last week is the advice that will take us through Christmas.”

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Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out further restrictions around household mixing before Christmas. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The First Minister added: “My clear message to individuals is to reiterate the message I gave last week and that is, in the run up to Christmas, please reduce your contacts, stay at home as much as is feasible right now.

“For Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we’re not asking people to cancel plans, but think about keeping them as small as your family circumstances allow and make sure everyone is testing before going, and following rules around hygiene and ventilation.

“Then after Christmas, for a period, limit your contacts again, so we can suppress infection as much as we possibly can, as we speed up the vaccination program.”

Scotland on Monday posted the highest test positivity rate since January this year, from 6,734 new coronavirus cases counted in the previous 24 hours.

The rate stood at 15.2 per cent, up from 13.9 per cent on Sunday.

In a thread posted on Twitter, Ms Sturgeon later left the door open to the introduction of further restrictions outside of household mixing.

She posted: “There’s no intention now on part of @scotgov to change our advice about household mixing up to and over Xmas weekend – I know how important clarity and certainty is at this stage.

“However, after the Xmas w/e please cut contacts again/stay at home as much as poss for a period.

"Cabinet will consider data tomorrow and consider whether any further (separate to household mixing) steps required in period ahead.

We will also consider what further business support we can provide - I know how difficult our advice is for many, especially in hospitality.”