NICOLA Sturgeon is set to unveil a “concrete” plan next week to allow people to meet with friends and family over the festive period.

The First Minister suggested that the blueprint could allow people “a greater degree of normality” over Christmas including “the ability to spend some time with loved ones”.

But Ms Sturgeon wouldn’t be drawn on suggestions that loosening restrictions over Christmas could result in a “January shutdown”.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon was asked about discussions about the festive period taking place with the UK Government and other devolved administrations.

READ MORE: FMQs Recap: Nicola Sturgeon questioned over Christmas plan and travel ban

She said: “We discussed the Christmas period and how we could come to a sensible – and I stress sensible – and safe plan that would allow people, not 100 per cent normality, but a greater degree of normality – in particular the ability to spend some time with loved ones.

“From that meeting yesterday, we charged our officials – advised by our respective chief medical officers – to put together a concrete proposal that we will then consider and hopefully announce the detail of in the coming days.

“I would hope … we could share that with the public over the course of next week.”

The First Minister insisted she is keen for a four nations agreement to be established on a plan for the festive period.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Scots could form Christmas 'baubles' to meet over festive season

She added that the Scottish Government and the other nations are “determined” to be able to “strike the right balance between the understandable desire” to spend time with family at Christmas, but “in a way that does not lead to increased loss of life and increased harm to health over the January period”.

Scottish Conservatives Holyrood leader, Ruth Davidson, pressed the First Minister if the easing of restrictions at Christmas means the public needs to “prepare ourselves now for a January shutdown".

Ms Davidson also asked Ms Sturgeon if the current restrictions already in place and those coming into force tomorrow including 11 council areas being place back into a three-week lockdown "were the price” for relaxation at Christmas.

The First Minister suggested Scottish Government officials are “interrogating” a conclusion by Public Health England director Dr Suan Hopkins that five days of tighter restrictions could be necessary for every day where rules are relaxed.

She said: “The reason why all four governments asked for a proposal to come forward that was fully informed by the chief medical officers is to make sure that we factor in all of that kind of assessment.

“I am not going to speculate right now on five days for every one day because I have not seen what underpins that particular opinion.”

Speaking after First Minister's Questions, Ms Davidson added: “Further restrictions were explained to us as suppressing the virus for its own sake, but also to allow us hope of some form of contact this Christmas.

“We need to know if these current restrictions are the price for relaxation this Christmas or, as government medical advisor, Dr Susan Hopkins, has suggested, the bill that will be paid by us all in the new year with a January shutdown.

“People have been living week-to-week for eight months now and they need to be able to plan. That’s why I welcome the First Minister’s response that the government will next week publish plans for what families can expect over Christmas and the loneliness strategy that we requested in October."