Nicola Sturgeon announces highest number of Covid cases in Scotland to date and urges people to ‘show caution’

Scotland has recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases to date, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister gave an update regarding the Covid-19 situation in Scotland during a briefing on Wednesday (29 December).

According to the latest Scottish Government figures, 15,849 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours, with three deaths also recorded.

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Ms Sturgeon said this was “by some margin the highest case number reported in the pandemic to date”.

However, the First Minister noted that “the much higher test positivity experienced over recent days may be partially explained by people being more selective about when to go for a test over the Christmas period.

Ms Sturgeon said the wave of the Omicron variant that has been predicted is now “rapidly developing” and that people should “take steps” to avoid Covid wherever possible.

However, she announced there would be no immediate changes to the protections currently in force or to the advice that has been given to the public.

Ms Sturgeon said it is “really vital we all continue to take sensible precautions and limit social interactions for a further period as we learn more about the likely impact of this wave of infection and as we complete the booster vaccination programme”.

She also said it is being advised that over Hogmanay, New Year’s Day and at least the first week of January people “stay at home more than normal” and “show continued caution” over the next couple weeks.

What are the current rules in place in Scotland?

From 26 December, there are limits on the size of live public events for three weeks.

Indoor events will be limited to 100 standing or 200 seated, while outdoors events will be limited to 500 seated or standing.

Many public New Year’s Eve celebrations in Scotland, including Edinburgh’s main Hogmanay street party, have been cancelled.

Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from 27 December.

Pubs, bars and other settings where alcohol is being served will return to table service only.

One-metre social distancing will be enforced in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings.

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