SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has welcomed the latest Covid-19 announcements made by the First Minister in the Scottish Parliament this week. The 64% drop in positive PCR tests (a drop seen across all age groups) indicates that the combination of booster vaccines, the public’s sacrifices to help stem transmission, and the temporary protective measures introduces in December have all helped to blunt the impact of the Omicron wave.
Commenting after the First Minister’s speech in the chamber, Allan said:
“It is heartening to see evidence of the Omicron variant’s declining spread, and I know many businesses and individuals will be relieved at the further relaxation of restrictions announced today.
“Here in the Western Isles, we have been impacted in a much greater way in terms of case numbers during this wave than in any of the others. I would like to acknowledge the immense efforts of all those involved in our health and education services in particular who have worked so hard during this extremely challenging time.
“I would encourage everyone to continue to do all they can to limit the spread of this very transmissible variant, especially making sure to get all doses of the vaccine to which you are entitled if you have not already done so.”
From Monday 24th January, the remaining statutory measures introduced in response to Omicron will be lifted (including limits on attendance at indoor public events; 1m physical distancing between groups in indoor public spaces; requirement for table service in hospitality premises serving alcohol; and the closure of nightclubs).
Also from Monday, the guidance advising adults against non-professional contact indoor sport, as well as the guidance asking people to stick to a 3 household limit on indoor gatherings, will also be lifted.
Working from home where possible should remain in place, but the Scottish Government will be engaging with businesses now regarding a return to a more hybrid approach from the beginning of next month.
The Covid certification scheme has not been extended to other premises, and the Scottish Government continues to advise taking a lateral flow test before meeting up with people from other households.