Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Covid: Scots told not to meet up as Nicola Sturgeon gives coronavirus update

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon will deliver a Covid update at Holyrood as Scots are told not to meet up with friends and family before Christmas.

The statement, which will begin around 2.15pm this afternoon, is the last scheduled coronavirus update from the first minister before Holyrood breaks up for recess on Christmas Eve.

Many across the country will be tuning in to find out if their Christmas plans can go ahead, or whether any new restrictions will be brought in to help stem the spread of the new Omicron variant.

There is speculation the first minister is considering new restrictions on crowds at football matches.

The Welsh government has confirmed all sporting events there will be held behind closed doors from Boxing Day due to the surge in coronavirus cases.

On Monday 6,734 people tested positive for the virus, the highest number of cases recorded in a single day since September.

How likely are new restrictions?

Ms Sturgeon’s update comes after she told Scots to reduce their socialising as much as possible and to limit gatherings to just three households, despite being unable to enshrine this request in law.

Stephen Reicher, professor of psychology at St Andrews University and a member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Insights Group, also said people should not meet up with friends and family for the next few days if they want to have a “good Christmas dinner”.

Hospital admissions could reach 3,000 a day if no further restrictions are introduced, according to a warning from the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

We will rule nothing out.

– Boris Johnson

On social media on Monday, Ms Sturgeon signalled there will be no major changes to Christmas Covid guidance despite concerns over the Omicron variant.

Earlier, senior ministers met in Downing Street to discuss whether or not more restrictions are needed, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he will rule nothing out.

After the meeting Mr Johnson said the government will keep the data under “constant review” and says there is the “possibility of taking further action to protect the public and our NHS”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

He said: “We won’t hesitate to take action.

“It could not be more urgent.

“We are looking at all kinds of things – we will rule nothing out.”

Mr Johnson has not yet given any further detail as to what these potential restrictions could include.

Call for Scotland’s own furlough scheme

This briefing comes on the same day as a report is published calling for devolved governments to be allowed to launch their own wage support schemes.

The expert report says the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments should be given minimum funding guarantees by Westminster, or enhanced borrowing powers to cope with economic shut-down.

People wearing face masks

David Bell, professor of economics at Stirling University, said: “Effective communication and coordination between the UK and devolved governments is vital for effective policy-making given the interactions between funding and policy decisions taken by these two levels of government.

“There were improvements during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic but stakeholders have told us these have not been sustained.”

The report also says HM Revenue and Customs should examine whether furlough and self-employment income support schemes can be regional.

How to watch the briefing

The briefing gets under way around 2.15pm and will be broadcast live on Scottish Parliament TV.

You will also be able to follow along live on our Live Blog, which will be published around 2pm.

Dundee v Dundee United blow for fans as Covid rules hit derby attendance

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier News team

More from The Courier