First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given her weekly Covid update in the Scottish Parliament today. 

Last week, the First Minister announced that no further restrictions would be introduced or removed and she updated MSPs on the BA.2 sub-variant cases in Scotland.

This week, the First Minister has confirmed baseline Coronavirus restrictions will remain.

Here's what Nicola Sturgeon said during her Covid briefing today.

What did Nicola Sturgeon say today?

Baseline Covid measures will remain

Basic protective measures will continue in Scotland masks and covid vaccine verification.

The First Minister also said that people are still encouraged to take lateral flow tests before seeing others.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “As well as reducing our own individual risk of getting Covid and therefore helping to stem transmission overall, these basic measures will also provide some reassurance for those who are at the highest risk of serious illness if they get Covid.

“It is important that everyone gets to benefit from a return to greater normality.

“So collective behaviours that could force those at highest risk into effective isolation while the rest of us get back to enjoying normal life would not be acceptable.”

High-risk workers receive working from home guidance 

As the working from home guidance relaxes in Scotland, the First Minister stressed the importance of opening the restrictions in a way that works the most vulnerable.

The Scottish Government has introduced guidance to employers to help support high-risk workers. 

This guidance is available at


READ MORE: BA.2 Omicron variant in Scotland as Nicola Sturgeon updates Covid data

READ MORE: Scotland’s Future: What to expect from The Herald's series on the national debate 


Masks in schools

The First Minister said her advisory sub-group on education will meet and consider the issue today. 

The meeting will discuss whether secondary school pupils will continue to have to wear face coverings in class will be made before pupils return after the February break.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government will consider carefully any further advice that the sub-group provides, and confirm any decisions as quickly as possible and in advance of the return to school after the February break.”

BA.2 sub-variant

Last week, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that a new sub-variant - BA.2 - has been identified and is currently being investigated.

The First Minister has said that BA2. is "not a cause for any alarm" and there is no need to make any change to the current measures at the moment.

There have been 103 cases of the BA.2 sub-type of Omicron discovered in Scotland, up from 26 last week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister said there was emerging evidence that the new variant was more transmissible than the regular strain of Omicron but that it does not cause more severe illnesses.

In her Covid-19 update at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said the number of variant cases was a “significant underestimate of actual prevalence” because not all tests are genomically sequenced.

She added: “In the past week there has been a further increase in the number of PCR test results showing positive for the S gene and a corresponding fall in the number which don’t have the S gene.

“This is likely to reflect an increase in BA.2 cases which, like Delta, are S Gene positive. In cases of the main Omicron variant, the S Gene is absent.

“Encouragingly, there remains no evidence at this stage that the disease caused by this subtype is any more severe than that caused by the main Omicron variant.

“Nor does it appear to be any more capable of evading the immunity conferred by either vaccination or prior infection.

“However, there is evidence, from more than one country now, of a growth advantage for BA.2 compared to the main Omicron variant, which may mean it is more transmissible.”


5-11-year-olds with an underlying health condition or who lives with those who with underlying conditions should come forward for their vaccine.

Eligible children are being invited for their vaccination by NHS Scotland via letter or phone call.

Visit the NHS Inform website for more information.

The Scottish Government is launching a new vaccination campaign targeted at  18-59-year-olds to get their booster vaccine.

International Travel

From Friday, February 11, vaccinated travellers, who are fully vaccinated or under 18, will no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid test and they will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival until they've received a negative result.

Travellers in this group will still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving in the UK - which can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test from Sunday.

See the full guidance via the Scottish Government website.

Latest Covid cases

The First Minister updated the Scottish Parliament on the most recent Covid data which is published at 2 pm.

Updating MSPs in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said: "Case numbers have remained broadly stable" and that " we are now through the worst of this wave".

"We shouldn't be surprised by the rise" or "unduly concerned" by the current data.

According to the most recent data, 6,630 more people have tested positive today. 

While 950 people were in hospital yesterday which is 8 fewer than the day before.

14 more people who tested positive have also sadly died which brings the total to 10,447.

Looking towards vaccination data, 4,423,415 people have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

While 4,137,747 people have received their second dose, and 3,324,876 have received a third dose or booster.

For more information, visit the Scottish Government website.