Nicola Sturgeon will outline if fresh measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant are neededwhen she briefs MSPs at Holyrood for the final time before Christmas.  

The First Minister will detail the latest scientific advice and could bring in new rules on large gatherings today— but has said she will not impose fresh restrictions on individuals’ festive plans.  

However, it is understood that big public events may be restricted amid ongoing concerns about the spread of the virus.   

Yesterday saw the highest daily total for new cases for more than three months in Scotland, with more than 6,700 recorded within 24 hours.  

Ms Sturgeon has warned of a ‘Tsunami’ of cases in the coming weeks – with the peak of the latest wave of infections expected to come at the end of January and the beginning of February.  


The Scottish cabinet is to meet this morning ahead of Ms Sturgeon’s address to MSPs. 

Restrictions have already been put in place on the hospitality industry, and people have been urged to mingle no more than three households together indoors. 

READ MORE: Sturgeon rules out Christmas Day lockdown but door open for restrictions after Boxing Day

While the advice on Christmas gatherings are not expected to change, it has been hinted that new rules could be introduced for large events, such as the Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh or football matches.  

The UK as a whole reported 91,743 Covid cases, the second-highest daily total since mass testing began. 

Asked if people could plan their Christmas Day celebrations on the basis of advice already given, Ms Sturgeon told BBC Scotland: "Yes." 

The First Minister said she wanted "people to have clarity about what we are expecting of them", and that they should "listen carefully to advice". 


The Scottish government has asked people to reduce their contact with other households as much as possible and to stay home "as much as is feasible" on the days around Christmas, but that they can go ahead with their main family celebrations. 

Ms Sturgeon also said people attending Christmas gatherings should take a Covid-19 test beforehand, practice good hygiene, and move to reduce their contacts again following the weekend. 

READ MORE: Sturgeon set to recall MSPs to discuss restrictions before New Year

She said yesterday: "Cabinet tomorrow will look at the data and we will consider - we haven't taken any decisions - whether there are any other steps we need to take, both to slow down the spread of infection and to take account of the fact that because of the rising number of infections we are seeing quite high staff absences across the economy and in public services. 

"All of this has to be balanced and we will come to balanced decisions tomorrow. 

“And if we are deciding to do anything else - as I say I am not changing the advice for individuals around Christmas - I will set that out to parliament tomorrow." 

Ms Sturgeon will address Holyrood at 2.15pm. The briefing will be televised on BBC Scotland and streamed on the Scottish Parliament’s TV channel and social media.