As concern grows over the rapid increase in the omicron variant of Covid the Scottish Government is setting out new guidance and measures to take effect from midnight on Friday, 17th December.
Guidance has been updated on reducing social interaction at home or in indoor public places to a maximum of three households at any time, with everyone encouraged to take a lateral flow test before meeting.
This will also be updated guidance for visiting care homes – with no more than two households to visit a resident at a time – and in hospitals, with no more than two visitors at any time.
In all settings, people should take a lateral flow test before meeting.
Making the announcement today First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:
“I am not asking anyone to ‘cancel’ Christmas – but in the run up to and in the immediate aftermath of Christmas, I am asking everyone to reduce as far as possible, and to a minimum, the contacts we have with people in other households.
“We are asking everyone, and we will issue strong guidance to this effect, to cut down as far as possible the number of people outside our own households that we are interacting with just now. This will help break transmission chains.
“Turning to Christmas Day specifically – or Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or whenever you have your main family celebration – we are not asking you to cancel or change your plans, and we are not proposing limits on the size of household gatherings. Places of worship will also remain open, with appropriate mitigations. But we will issue guidance to help you make Christmas safer.
“Omicron will be especially concerning to people on the Highest Risk List – the Chief Medical Officer will be writing to all of you shortly with further advice and assurance.”
The Scottish Government has made available additional funding of £100 million to ensure the Self-Isolation Support Grant is available to those who need it, and a £100 million financial package for eligible businesses is to be made available.
There is a rush on to get as many people vaccinated with their third booster jag in Scotland, but there are people who are unable to be vaccinated either because they are too young or because of their medical condition. It is, therefore, vital that we think of others.
In Orkney 11,205 people (56.5%) of people aged 12 + years have had a booster.
- get the vaccine or the vaccine booster
- limit the amount of social contact you have with other households – gather in groups of no more than 3 households
- avoid crowded places – shop at quieter times and follow safety measures in shops and other places
- if you don’t have symptoms take regular lateral flow tests – especially before mixing with other people – get LFD tests
- if you have symptoms – self isolate and book a PCR test
- wear a face covering where required
- work from home if you can
- you need proof of a negative LFD test to visit someone in hospital or a care home
- wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing
- open windows when meeting indoors
- use the apps: COVID status, Protect Scotland and Check-in Scotland
Related story: 17 New #Covid Cases in Orkney