Nicola Sturgeon LIVE: Covid vaccine passport announcement from First Minister | John Swinney to give update to MSPs at Holyrood

Live coverage and analysis of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing.

Scroll down for the latest as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon updates MSPs on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon is set to give an update on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon LIVE: Live coverage and analysis of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 briefing

Key Events

  • First Minister to update MSPs on pandemic
  • Ambulance crisis deepens
  • Latest on new vaccine passport app
  • John Swinney to give update to MSPs at Holyrood
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Sturgeon: App ‘works well now'

Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to get proof of their vaccination status.

Speaking to MSPs, the First Minister said: “There will be many of us who – at some point in the coming months – will want to attend a concert, or go to a big football or rugby match, or visit a nightclub or other late-night venue.

“So I would encourage everyone to get a copy of their vaccination record as soon as possible – either through the app, or by getting the PDF or a paper copy from the NHS Inform website.

“I know the early experience of the app was not good, but it works well now. And the alternative options are available too.”

Sturgeon apologises after troubled vaccine passport launch

Nicola Sturgeon has apologised for the botched roll-out of the Scottish Government’s vaccine passport app after a chastening weekend following the scheme’s introduction on Friday.

The First Minister, addressing MSPs in Holyrood as part of her weekly Covid-19 update, said NHS Scotland systems were to blame for the troubled launch rather than the app itself.

Vaccine certification became mandatory for large events and nightclubs on Friday at 5am, but enforcement of the scheme will not begin until October 18.

Ms Sturgeon said the problems faced by the app were “especially acute” on Thursday evening and Friday, and that she was “well aware” people found it “extremely difficult” to use the app.

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FM: issues accessing Covid passport app down to NHS error

The First Minister claimed problems experienced by thousands of Scots in accessing their vaccination passport app were down to “the NHS systems that it links to” rather than the app itself.

“Essentially the high demand and an error in ‘one part’ of the system caused the problem. Grumbling in the chamber at the insinuation the NHS’ systems were to blame,” she told MSPs.

FM: Covid situation remains 'fragile’

Scotland’s position on Covid-19 “remains fragile and potentially very challenging”, Nicola Sturgeon has said as winter approaches.

The First Minister stressed the importance of ventilation, face coverings and physical distancing despite a recent fall in cases – warning that more indoor meetings could see more positive tests over the winter.

“In short, it is vital that we all continue to be mindful of the virus and its likely presence around us as we go about our everyday lives – and in light of that, continue to behave in sensible ways that will reduce its ability to spread from person to person,” she said.

“If we all do this, we stand a much better chance of keeping the number of cases – and the associated pressure on the NHS – under control even as winter conditions kick in.”

Pressure on NHS remains ‘intense'

NHS pressure remains “intense” despite a recent fall in Covid-19 cases, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister told MSPs an average of 150 people per day were being admitted to hospital in the second week of September but this has fallen to fewer than 100.

She said: “Given that cases are continuing to fall, we hope and expect that the number of people in hospital will decline further. We also expect that the number of people dying from Covid will reduce.

“All of this is positive – and a source of great relief to all of us.

“That said, the number of people in hospital with Covid now is still higher than it was in late August.

“And the pressure on our NHS remains intense.”

Advisory group to discuss face coverings in classrooms

An advisory group on education will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possible removal of face coverings in classrooms.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The advisory subgroup on education and children’s issues is meeting this afternoon, and will be considering the mitigations which are currently in place in schools – including the requirement to wear face coverings in class.

“It may well be that they recommend keeping the current mitigations in place for longer given the risks of the winter period.

“However, should they advise that any easing is possible following the October half-term, the Scottish Government will consider this carefully and advise schools of any changes as soon as possible.”

FM: Cabinet agreed to enforce current regulations due to level of infections, 'though falling, remains relatively high'.

FM: No changes to coronavirus rules this week.

The First Minister told MSPs cases in the last week had fallen by a fifth, adding: “That decision reflects, firstly, that the number of cases is continuing to fall and so our judgement is that there is no need to introduce any tighter restrictions; but, secondly, that the level of infection, though falling, remains relatively high and so we consider that it is prudent at this stage, as we approach winter, to keep in place the remaining mitigations, face coverings for example, for a further period.”

Latest Scottish Covid figures released

Scotland recorded 21 coronavirus-linked deaths and 2,056 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – stands at 8,687.

The Scottish Government’s daily figures on Tuesday show there were 21,358 new tests, of which 10.3% were positive, up from 9.4% the previous day.

A total of 998 people are in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, down three in 24 hours, of whom 65 are in intensive care, down six.

The daily figures also show 4,223,719 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,849,656 have received their second dose.

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