Sturgeon FINALLY removes Scotland's Omicron-related Covid restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon FINALLY removes Scotland’s Omicron-related restrictions: social distancing and table service in pubs will be SCRAPPED and nightclubs reopened from MONDAY

Nicola Sturgeon finally agreed to lift remaining Covid restrictions briught in to combat the Omicron variant, admitting the country was on the ‘downward slope’ of infections.

From next Monday, January 24, bars and restaurants will no longer only be able to serve customers seated at tables, while social distancing will also be removed. 

Nightclubs will also be allowed to reopen as she sweeps away restrictions in place since before Christmas, while plans to extend the Covid passport scheme have been scrapped.

Attendance limits on indoor events will also be lifted – bringing them into line with outdoor events in a move that came into effect yesterday. 

However baseline coronavirus measures in place before the Omicron wave will remain, including masks are still legally required indoors and on public transport.

The First Minister also announced the Scottish Government would not be expanding its vaccine certification scheme into new venues with the Tories demanding it be scrapped entirely.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament today, Ms Sturgeon said  statistics showed a ‘significant fall’ in new cases, though the NHS remained under ‘acute pressure’. 

She said: ‘Taking all of this into account, and triangulating the various sources of data, allows us to say with some confidence that the rise in cases driven by Omicron peaked in the first week of January and that we are now on the downward slope of this wave of cases.’ 

Addressing the Scottish Parliament today, Ms Sturgeon said statistics showed a 'significant fall' in new cases, though the NHS remained under 'acute pressure'.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament today, Ms Sturgeon said statistics showed a ‘significant fall’ in new cases, though the NHS remained under ‘acute pressure’.

Scottish shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane

Scottish shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane

Ms Sturgeon added: ‘From Monday we will also lift the guidance asking people to stick to a three-household limit on indoor gatherings.

‘However, it is important to stress this point: notwithstanding the improving situation, the level of Covid infection circulating in the community is still high. So to minimise the risk of us getting the virus it would be sensible for all of us to remain cautious in our social interactions at this stage.’ 

She continued: ‘We will continue to ask people to work from home whenever possible at this stage – and for employers to facilitate this.

‘However, we will engage with business now about a return to a more hybrid approach from the start of February.’

Scotland recorded another 31 coronavirus deaths, as well as 7,752 more cases of people being infected with the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the latest figures in a statement to Holyrood.

The cases were confirmed on Monday through both PCR and lateral flow tests, she told MSPs.

The latest deaths takes the total of people who have died within 28 days of contracting coronavirus to 10,0093 in Scotland.

Meanwhile the number of people in has fallen by 21 to 1,546, with 59 people in intensive care, a rise of one.

This total includes 17 people who have been in ICU for more than 28 days, Ms Sturgeon said.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: ‘The First Minister’s statement did begin a sea change in the government’s policy, starting to shift from a rules-based approach more towards trusting the Scottish public, as we were pushing for.

‘Yesterday we called for an end to most Covid restrictions because the data shows that we are past the peak of Omicron.

‘Most of what we’ve called for has been met – but the government insists on keeping some Covid restrictions in place beyond the necessary point to keep the public safe.’