Humza Yousaf said he was not going to tell people not to invite their gran for Christmas dinner, but urged them to ask people to take lateral flow tests before arrival amid concern about the new Omicron variant.
Scotland recorded 14 coronavirus-linked deaths and 1,257 new cases in 24 hours, according to the latest data released on Saturday afternoon, including a total of 30 Omicron cases.
He told BBC Radio Scotland’s The Sunday Show: “You don’t have to cancel your (Christmas) plans but definitely make them safer. That’s what I’m going to do.
“Me and my constituency office are going to go to a restaurant for lunch but have all agreed that we will be doing lateral flow tests before then on the day.
“The same for Christmas dinner with my family. We’ll have my mother-in-law and some other relatives over and they’ll all be doing lateral flow devices.
“I’ll not be taking their Covid certification at the door but we’ll just be doing what we can to make our plans a bit safer.
“We’re asking people to exercise their judgment and make their Christmas plans as safe as they possibly can.”
Questioned if people should limit the numbers they invite at Christmas, he said they should take precautions but that he would not stipulate who people could have over for Christmas dinner.
“I’m not going to say to people that you shouldn’t invite their cousin, that you shouldn’t invite their granny to Christmas dinner,” he said.
“What I’m saying is take the precautions that we’re asking you to.”
He said people meeting indoors should try to ensure adequate ventilation and ask people to do lateral flow tests before arrival.
He added: “Adjust your plans to make them safer but I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to invite your granny to Christmas dinner.”