Nicola Sturgeon backed by majority of Scots over Christmas Covid rules in poll

Scots overwhelmingly back the stricter approach taken by Nicola Sturgeon in response to the Omicron variant, a new poll has found.

More than two-thirds of Scots said the decision by the Scottish Government to bring in stricter measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 before Christmas was the right decision, despite claims from the opposition the First Minister went too far.

The poll, undertaken by Savanta ComRes for The Scotsman, interviewed 1,004 Scottish adults aged 16 and over between January 14 and 18.

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First Minster Nicola Sturgeon has been backed by the Scottish people over her approach to Omicron. Picture: PA

It found 37 per cent of Scots said the decision to have tougher measures than in England was “definitely the right decision”, while a further 30 per cent said it was “probably the right decision”.

Just over one in eight Scots (13 per cent) said they thought the measures were “definitely the wrong decision”, with 14 per cent saying they were “probably the wrong decision”.

A further 5 per cent said they did not know.

The figures come after the First Minister was criticised by Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross during First Minister’s Questions for going too far on Covid-19 restrictions over the festive period.

They also follow the announcement from Ms Sturgeon on Tuesday that all remaining restrictions put in place last month during a spike caused by Omicron will be removed from Monday.

During the festive period the Scottish Government restricted the number of people allowed to attend major events, forcing an early winter break among football clubs.

Ministers also shut nightclubs and cancelled Hogmanay events across Scotland to tackle the surging case numbers.

Hospitality was forced to reintroduce table service-only, while self-isolation requirements were also stricter than in England.

But Mr Ross claimed the restrictions were not needed given the Omicron variant appears to be less severe than other strains.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs last week the projection of 50,000 new coronavirus infections per day by mid-January had not been met, with spread limited to around 30,000 per day after restrictions on hospitality and large events were put in place in December.

However, she rejected calls to move away from taking a “cautious” approach to dealing with the pandemic.

Want to hear more from The Scotsman's politics team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

It's available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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