Folk urged to step up Covid compliance after Omicron variant confirmed in Scotland

The First Minister has urged people to “significantly step up” compliance with Covid measures amid the most “challenging” developments seen for some time. 

Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement today (Monday) after it emerged six cases of the new Omicron variant had been confirmed in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said that while a “huge amount” was still unknown about the new strain, first detected in southern Africa, it needed to be treated seriously. 

“There is no doubt that this presents the most challenging development in the course of the pandemic for quite some time,” she added.

Ms Sturgeon said the government was asking people to increase compliance with existing precautions, including wearing face coverings, washing hands and taking regular lateral flow tests.

Employers have been asked to “maximise the potential for homeworking”.

Ms Sturgeon said getting vaccinated remained “the single most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and each other”.

Given the “fast moving” nature of the virus, she said the response would be kept under “close review”.

The First Minister said she was conscious of the “very real concerns” felt by businesses and staff about the possibility of further protections.

While she “very much hopes” additional precautions can be avoided, Ms Sturgeon has also asked for the treasury to ensure funding is available for business support if new measures are introduced.

Tighter restrictions on foreign travel, including testing and self-isolation requirements, have already been reintroduced.


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