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Scotland’s First Minister Announces Changes To Self-Isolation Guidance As Covid-19 Cases Start To Rise

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today in during a Covid-19 briefing that there will be new self-isolation guidance introduced from tomorrow (December 11) due to “a potential tsunami of infections” arising. Due to the “renewed and very severe challenge” posed by the new Omicron variant, the First Minister has revealed that all household contacts of any Covid-19 cases should isolate for 10 days.

In addition, all household contacts should isolate regardless of their vaccination status and even if they initially get a negative PCR test. However, non-household contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19 should also isolate until they receive a negative PCR result and are double vaccinated.

Speaking at the Covid-19 briefing this afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Given that Omicron is now becoming dominant, our response to it has to become more general. It will quickly be the case that most people who have Covid have the Omicron variant. And we must do all we can to break transmission chains.

“Therefore, from tomorrow, our advice will be that all household contacts of any confirmed Covid case should isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status, and even if they initially get a negative PCR test.”

In addition, the First Minister said that due to the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant that Scotland may be facing, or may be starting to experience, there could be “a potential tsunami of infections”. Yesterday, 5,018 positive cases were reported , which is 9.3% of all tests carried out, which Nicola Sturgeon described as “a sharp rise on the average of around 2,800 per day” and she said this statistic “underlines our fear that a new wave may indeed be starting”.

As well as announcing new Covid-19 self-isolation guidance, the First Minister also recommended that Christmas parties be deferred. Nicola Sturgeon said: “There is a significant risk with Omicron – and we are already seeing the reality of it – of Christmas parties or events with lots of people becoming super-spreaders. And if that happens lots of people get infected and if these are work events, as well as the risk to individual health, there is a risk to the ability of the workplace to operate as people have to isolate.”

The First Minister added: “So the public health advice – which I have no alternative but to agree with given the evidence of risk that I know about and have now shared with you – is that we should all think a bit more carefully about unnecessary contacts, especially in crowded places just now. And that it would be sensible to defer work Christmas parties.”

You can find more information about Covid-19 guidance here.

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