Nicola Sturgeon said she “expects” new COVID restrictions in Scotland to be in place until January 17, as she urged people to “stay at home right now more than usual “.
Since December 27, the discotheques of Scotland were forced to close unless they function as a table service and distancing pub. Indoor reception and leisure venues must reintroduce table service, a one-meter distance rule, and set up a ceiling of no more than three households in a group.
From Boxing Day, public events in Scotland have been limited to a maximum of 100 people at indoor standing events, up to 200 people at indoor seated events and up to 500 people at outdoor events sitting or standing – impacting Hogmanay celebrations.
Addressing a virtual Scottish Parliament hearing, Scottish prime minister said her government was reviewing the new measures “on an ongoing basis” but expected them to be in place for three weeks.
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“The new safeguards relating to hospitality, indoor public places and live events that I outlined last week are now in effect,” said Sturgeon.
“We will be reviewing them on an ongoing basis – however, at this point we expect them to be in effect until January 17th.
“This means, for now, limits on the size of live public events – although private events such as weddings are exempt.”
She also announced that Scotland on Tuesday recorded a record 15,849 new coronavirus cases – beating the Boxing Day tally of 4,819.
As of Tuesday evening, 679 people were hospitalized in Scotland with coronavirus – 80 more than the day before – and three more people had died with it COVID, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 9,836.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the new Omicron The variant is now responsible for around 80% of new cases and is “growing rapidly”. He has since been revealed to be composing over 90% of cases in England.
She added that she expects a “sharp increase in the number of cases” in the coming weeks. However, the Prime Minister has confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to the coronavirus rules in Scotland.
Ms. Sturgeon only stressed that people should “stay home more than usual at this time.”
She also suggested isolation rules could be shortened after the UK government’s decision to allow people infected with COVID in England to stop self-isolating up to three days earlier if they test negative twice on days six and seven.
She said ministers “hope to reach decisions next week, with any changes taking effect from January 5”.
Noting that testing capacity is ‘under pressure’, Ms Sturgeon added that the Scottish Government ‘is prioritizing certain niches for essential workers’ and for those ‘clinically vulnerable or eligible for new COVID treatments’ to ensure that they receive the test results promptly.
The Prime Minister also explained how £ 100million of a £ 275million business support fund has been allocated – with £ 16million available to support transport providers, £ 27million for the culture sector and £ 17million for the events sector.
“An additional £ 32million will be allocated to hospitality and leisure businesses, with an additional £ 10million for those sectors of the hospitality industry most severely affected by the table service requirement – and up to £ 5million will be available for clubs due to close, “she said.