This is how the announcement of the ‘most challenging’ covid development in months unfolded.
Covid in Scotland LIVE BLOG: Nicola Sturgeon gives covid update | 6 cases of Omicron variant identified in Scotland
Last updated: Monday, 29 November, 2021, 13:03
- Six cases of Omicron variant identified in Scotland.
- Sturgeon pushes UK government to increase travel restrictions
- PM rejects Sturgeon’s call for tougher four nations’ travel restrictions
- First Minister gives covid update on Monday morning.
FM: ‘Scotland in much stronger position due to vaccination’
Ms Sturgeon says that Scotland is in a much stronger position in tackling the virus thanks to the vaccination programme.
Speaking alongside the First Minister, Dr Gregor Smith made a plea to those who have not yet had a vaccine to ‘re-consider’. He added that the booster dose gives ‘a significant rise’ to the anti-body response.
FM: ‘Now is the time to step up’
“This is a moment for collective national vigilance,” says Nicola Sturgeon as she encourages people to stick to current restrictions in place following the identification of Omicron cases in Scotland.
Dr Gregor Smith added that scientists are currently investigating the virus in areas such as transmission rates and severity. He said it will be ‘several weeks’ until clear and confident answers to questions surrounding Omicron can be given.
‘Same restrictions will help curb new variant’
Ms Sturgeon says that same measures taken to combat previous variants are ‘more important than ever before’ and will help curb new variant.
Speaking at her briefing, she said to people it is ‘vital’ get vaccinated, test for covid regularly and follow all protections in place such as wearing face coverings.
Sturgeon also urged people to work from home ‘if you can.’
‘Tougher four nations approach to travel needed’ FM
Sturgeon calls for eight day self isolation for all inbound travellers to the UK as Cobra meeting called.
‘Increase compliance with existing restrictions’
The First Minister asks people to increase their compliance with current rules such as face coverings and encourages employers to go ahead with home working.
‘No evidence that Omicron is more severe’ says Sturgeon
In her briefing, Ms Sturgeon said that there is no evidence to suggest symptoms and severity of new Omicron strain are different from other variants.
How bad is the Omicron variant and how to pronounce Omicron
Here’s all you need to know about Omicron and what travel rules apply.
Scientists are calling the latest Covid-19 variant the most heavily mutated so far.
The Scotsman’s daily bulletin
As we await Nicola Sturgeon’s emergency covid briefing, deputy editor Alan Young and political editor Alistair Grant take a look at the news coming up.
Where to watch emergency covid briefing
- Six new cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in Scotland.
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will give an emergency briefing at 10.30am on Monday morning which you can watch live from the Scottish Government’s Twitter page.
Enhanced contact tracing introduced following Omicron identification in Scotland
Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government health secretary, has said that enhanced contact tracing is being introduced to redouble efforts in tackling the virus.
The health secretary said:“This will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant.
“All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases. This will help establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they have come into contact with in recent weeks.
“There is still much to learn about the Omicron variant.
“Questions remain about its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments or vaccines and scientists are working at pace to provide additional information. Until more is known we must be cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.”
Mr Yousaf went on to say that the Scottish Government is aligning with the new border restrictions being introduced by the UK Government which will require fully vaccinated arrivals to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative result is received.
He added: “These measures will be introduced as soon as possible and kept under constant review.
“However, we reserve the right to go further if necessary. We are also adopting the expanded red list of countries identified by the UK Government. This will also be kept under review.”