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Cautious Optimism from First Minister in Covid Fight

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

Stirling Politicians Welcome Careful Easing of Measures

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP has offered a further update to the Scottish Parliament this week, regarding Scotland’s fight against the Covid-19 virus.

The highly infectious Omicron variant continues to spread through Scotland and the rest of Europe, however initial data suggests infection levels are currently below worse-case projections made in December. 

The First Minister emphasised this Covid-19 variant was not to be underestimated – its high transmissibility is still placing a severe strain on Scotland’s health systems and economy.

Large outdoor events can proceed without physical distancing or capacity limits from Monday 17th January, and will require the use of COVID-19 vaccine certification.

Cabinet will review the current health protections still in place on Tuesday 18th January, with the hope further restrictions can be lifted by Monday 24th January.

Local authorities will also receive up to £5 million of additional support to ensure ventilation in schools and early years settings meets the latest COVID-19 safety guidance. The funding is to improve air flow, such as adjustments to windows and doors, use of fan systems and use of air cleaning devices in line with existing safety guidance. This is in addition to Scottish Government funding of £10 million provided to local authorities for ventilation and CO2 monitoring last year.

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘I’m glad to see the careful lifting of Covid-19 restrictions as we emerge from the festive period. I know how difficult it has been to have another Christmas impacted by this virus, but the initial data shows we’ve managed to avoid many of the initial dire projections from December. 

‘Omicron remains highly infectious, so I’d urge everyone to get themselves protected as soon as possible, by taking up their boosters – or even the initial vaccinations if they haven’t yet done so. Every dose delivered is another link in our collective defence against serious illness.’ 

‘With cautious optimism, and the right mix of protections, we can strike a balance that will allow us to adapt and learn to live with an endemic virus at manageable and consistent levels.’ 

Evelyn Tweed MSP said:

‘This will be welcome news for many, particularly sports fans across Scotland. Like everyone, I am hopeful that this is a positive step forwards in the pandemic.

‘These latest changes are encouraging, but it’s important to remember we are still in a very cautious phase of the pandemic with case numbers high across Scotland. I thank everyone for their continued efforts in following the guidance and getting vaccinated or boosted, it’s never too late to come forward for a vaccination

‘I urge anyone attending a large outdoor event to check and comply with the current guidance before attending, to help make the experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.’

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/news/large-outdoor-events-resume-from-17-january/