Politics RECAP: Nicola Sturgeon confirmed further easing of restrictions as Scotland Yard launches investigation Boris Johnson and ‘parties’ in Downing Street

Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into potential breaches of coronavirus laws at a “number of events” in Downing Street and Whitehall.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Tuesday that officers were now investigating after being passed information from the Sue Gray inquiry.

As well as a busy day at Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon delivered a Covid update to MSPs in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

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Nicola Sturgeon update LIVE: First Minister addresses Parliament following restrictions easing as Scotland Yard launches investigation Boris Johnson and ‘parties’ in Downing Street

We will have live updates from around UK politics as we get it.

Politics RECAP: Scotland Yard launches investigation Boris Johnson and ‘parties’ in Downing Street

Last updated: Tuesday, 25 January, 2022, 14:23

Physical distancing rules change

FM: “In December, in response to Omicron, a requirement for two metre physical distancing was introduced for indoor settings where people have a specific exemption from the need to wear a face covering.

“Such exemptions apply, for example, to people leading religious services or carrying out some receptionist duties.

“From Friday, in light of the improving situation, this requirement will revert to 1 metre.”

Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a test after they arrive in Scotland

FM: “From Friday 11 February, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a test after they arrive in Scotland – though they will still be required to complete a passenger locator form.

“Travellers to Scotland who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to take a pre-departure test no more than 2 days before they board their plane, and also take a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival here.

“For international travel purposes, people are deemed to be fully vaccinated if they have completed at least a primary course of vaccination – for most people, that means at least 2 doses. This international definition, which doesn’t currently require booster or third vaccines, will be kept under review.”

‘This is the toughest winter the NHS has ever faced’ says FM

FM: “To make sure we sustain our progress, please continue to exercise appropriate care and caution.

“The level of infection, though declining overall, is still high, with around 7,000 cases a day being confirmed just now. Indeed, the decline may be starting to plateau and, as I reported earlier, cases in under 15s are actually rising.

“Also, hundreds of people with Covid are still being admitted to hospital each week, which means the NHS is still under immense pressure. We can say without fear of contradiction that this is the toughest winter it has ever faced.”

Covid Scotland: Work from home advice to be phased out from Monday as optimism continues

Introduction of Distance Aware scheme

FM announces a new measure to try to keep Scots safe and feeling comfortable while out and about.

FM: “The Distance Aware scheme is intended to help people who might be worried about going out. Badges and lanyards with the Distance Aware logo will be available to anyone who wants one, and will indicate to other people that the person wearing the logo would like a bit of extra space, and a bit more care taken around them.

“The badges and lanyards are available – free – at mobile and community libraries across Scotland this week, and badges are also available in most ASDA supermarkets. They are also available online from some participating charities.

“So if you or anyone you know is worried about being out and about and would feel safer with bit more space, please get a Distance Aware badge.”

FM reiterates the importance of getting vaccinations

FM: “I would once again urge anyone who is eligible for a primary dose or a booster to get it.

“Hospital data shows – even when adjusted for age - that someone not fully vaccinated is considerably more likely to require hospital treatment than someone who has had a booster or third dose.”

FM defends herself following Willie Rennie reporting her for “twisting” figures

FM: “Sir David Norgrove, the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority says in his reply that I - again, I’m quoting - “correctly stated that the figure for England was more than 20 per cent higher than the figure for Scotland.”

“While acknowledging that there are other equally accurate ways to cite the statistics he concludes as follows: “the data does suggest that the rate of infection is lower in Scotland than in England”.

“To me what matters is that Scotland is doing better now than we were before Christmas, and better than we might have been had we not taken action to stem transmission.

“How we are faring relative to England is not, in my view, the key comparison.

“But given that others have sought to draw that comparison - inaccurately - in an attempt to undermine confidence in the Scottish Government’s decisions, I hope all members will now accept the conclusion of the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority that the data I cited was accurate.”

Douglas Ross questions decision to lift working from home guidance and suggests employers should make their own decisions

FM says Douglas Ross is acting in a "childlike fashion"

FM says that payments are being made in all 32 local authorities to eligible businesses despite Ross stating that businesses are suffering while they wait for cash.

DR also asked why the government is waiting to introduce a date when school pupils will not be required to wear face masks and FM said that it would be irresponsible to lift them given the current data.

On WFH FM says that the government clarified that they will look towards employers to make. She added that a mass return to the office would risk setting back the progress made in the Omicron wave. 

We would be “acting at our peril” if we do not retain our ability to be flexible says FM

FM says that “pandemic proofing” schools takes investment in response to Anas Sarwar says that the government needs to respond to proposals put forward on future framework.

She added that the actions taken before Christmas have been shown to be “worthwhile”

We would be “acting at our peril” if we do not retain our ability to be flexible says FM

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