Coronavirus in Scotland: Mike Russell tells Scots to expect ‘digital Hogmanay’

Weeks after National Clinical Director Jason Leitch urged Scots to “prepare for a digital Christmas”, Mike Russell has said it will be “digital Hogmanay”.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary made the comment at Holyrood’s Covid-19 committee meeting on Thursday morning, while discussing plans for the five-day relaxation period of lockdown rules over Christmas.

Asked if a similar relaxation period could be applied for the new year, Mr Russell said: “The Christmas relaxation is what has been planned – and there’s a lot of work gone into it. It is not possible to do that twice, as clearly the risk of doing that twice doubles the potential for difficulty.

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“So this will not be a normal Hogmanay,” he added. “It will be, as you might call it, ‘the digital Hogmanay’.

Mike Russell says Scots should plan for a "digital Hogmanay".

"The levels applying then will be the levels that determine what you can and can’t do.”

In October, Professor Leitch had said Scots should “get their digital Christmas ready” as he warned that this year's festive season is “not going to be normal” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Appearing on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, he was asked for his prognosis for the festive season.

“Christmas is not going to be normal,” he said. “There's actually no question about that.

“We are not going to be in large groupings with multiple families coming round – that is fiction for this year. But, I'm hopeful that if we can get the numbers down to a certain level, we may be able to get some form of normality.

“People should get their digital Christmas ready,” he added.

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