Stronger Public Health Protections to Curb Virus Threat


Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Health, SNP Scottish Government

Stirling Politicians Back Covid-19 Omicron Measures

Stirling MSP Evelyn Tweed and MP Alyn Smith are urging local residents to remain cautious over the growing Covid-19 Omicron threat, as cases continue to climb across Scotland.

Setting out the current figures before the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon underlined the importance of adhering to public health regulations to slow infection rates and reduce pressure on Scotland’s health services.

Policy announcements to be implemented in the coming days include:

  • A legal duty for businesses to implement home working where possible. Exemptions will apply for sectors such as manufacturing – specific sectoral guidance will be released soon.
  • A return to protective measures in retail settings, including protective screens, physical distancing and crowd control measures
  • The resumption of Test & Protect contact-tracing measures for hospitality venues, with contact details collected from customers, as well as measures to prevent crowding
  • Reinforcement around mask wearing, and wearing masks properly, in the usual settings – retail, public transport etc.
  • A strong encouragement for people to reduce their social contacts as much as possible, with guidance on a 3 household limit – and for all attendees to undertake lateral flow tests beforehand. Indoor meetings should have adequate ventilation.
  • There will be no legal restrictions on gathering limits for Christmas, but households are urged to follow public health guidance around hygiene, hand washing, ventilation and ensuring attendees are fully vaccinated.
  • £100 million in funding to support businesses, primarily those in the hospitality, food supply and culture who will have been affected by public health advice last week on Christmas party cancellations.
  • An additional £100 million for the Self-Isolation Grant Fund, available to those who need it.
  • 18-29 year olds will be able to book their booster appointments from tomorrow. The current objective is for all over-18 year olds to be offered a booster appointment by the end of 2021, in the knowledge some appointments may be scheduled in early 2022.
  • Requirement to wait for 15 minutes after vaccination appointments will be removed.
  • Additional venues and drop-in capacities for vaccinations being organised.·        
  • The Chief Medical Officer will be writing to people on the Highest Risk List with further advice and assurance. 

More information can be found here:

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘It’s abundantly clear we’re not out of the woods yet in this pandemic. Variants such as Omicron come with the territory with Covid-19, and I urge everyone to follow the revised regulations and keep each other safe. Vaccination and booster shots remain a solid protection against the virus, and simple measures such as mask wearing, hand hygiene and ventilation can all play an important role in reducing opportunities for infection. Regular testing can help spot individual infections before the virus can spread to others, and will help curtail disruption.

‘Everyone remains fatigued by the pandemic, no-one more than our frontline health services who remain at their post to keep us safe and treat those seriously ill. We owe it to them, and to each other, to stick to the rules and help slow the spread of Covid-19. Omicron is bad news, but together we can beat it.’

Stirling MSP Evelyn Tweed said:

‘We’re at a very grave moment in our fight against the Covid-19 virus. Initial research suggests the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, even more so than Delta. It is absolutely imperative we stick to the tougher public health regulations to slow the spread – otherwise we risk our NHS becoming overwhelmed with too many people requiring hospitalisation all at once.

‘These developments will come as a huge disappointment for households and businesses across Stirling, particularly in our hospitality sector. The borrowing powers of the Scottish Government remain constrained, but I’m pleased to see £100 million committed to help alleviate the further economic disruption caused by Omicron, as well as a further £100 million dedicated to help those required to self-isolate.’

‘I urge households across Stirling to get themselves vaccinated, book their booster shots and maintain health measures at all times, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, frequent lateral flow testing and ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated.’