Covid in Scotland: Stay at home Hogmanay plea as cases hit record high

Covid in Scotland: Stay at home Hogmanay plea as cases hit record high

Scots have been urged to stay at home and not celebrate Hogmanay with other households as daily Covid-19 case numbers hit a record high.

A further 1,895 cases were reported on Tuesday – the highest number ever logged on a single day in Scotland.

The whole Scottish mainland is in the highest level of restrictions in a bid to contain a new strain of the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “especially vital” people did not mix indoors with other households.

The 1,895 cases reported on Tuesday was double the number logged on Monday, with 14.4% of tests returning a positive result.

Ms Sturgeon said there had been “quite a big jump in cases”, although there could be a “Christmas lag” in reporting some results.

She said the new strain of Covid-19 was “contributing to faster spread” of the virus, with a rising trend across the country and particular concerns over Shetland and the south of Scotland.

The first minister said: “The main message to people is to make sure you are not visiting other people’s houses just now. Unfortunately that includes Hogmanay and New Year.

“This is a time of year I know people enjoy getting together, but that’s not safe to do this year.

“As we head into the Hogmanay and new year period I really do appeal to people to say out of the homes of others, celebrate new year in your own home only with your own household.”

A further seven deaths of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 28 days have also been reported, although registration offices were closed over the festive break and the publication of most figures has been delayed.

As of Tuesday there were 1,092 people in hospital with a recently-confirmed case of the virus, with 65 in intensive care.

The whole of mainland Scotland has been in level four – the top tier of measures – since Boxing Day, and will remain there for at least three weeks.

Officials are also considering on a daily basis whether to escalate restrictions on Scotland’s islands, which are currently in level three.

Ms Sturgeon said the situation in Shetland in particular was being “very clearly monitored”.

She also said there were concerns about “quite significant increases” in cases in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

MSPs are to be given an update on the latest situation on Wednesday, when the Scottish Parliament is being recalled from recess to debate the Brexit deal.

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