Nicola Sturgeon has said that she cannot guarantee Scotland will see a return to normality in time for Christmas as the country gears up for another raft of Covid-19 restrictions.
Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said she was “reluctant” to make any clear promises in regards to Christmas.
She added that many parts of Scotland had already experienced important religious holidays such as Eid and Rosh Hashanah during the pandemic.
Ms Sturgeon said: "This is a very uncertain and volatile situation. I am very reluctant standing here in mid towards late September and make definitive predictions about Christmas because I know how important Christmas is to people.
"Remember there’s a whole swathe of our population have already, like our Muslim community has already gone through Eid without being able to celebrate properly.
"Some people in our country have already had these really difficult periods of important celebrations that they have not been able to enjoy.
“Christmas really matters to people and we want it to be as normal as possible but we are in a global pandemic.”
The First Minister added that it was still in the hands of Scots as to whether Christmas can be spent with family, with a clearer picture likely closer to the time.
Ms Sturgeon said: “If I was to stand here right now and say categorically that certain things could or could happen at Christmas, I wouldn’t be being fair to people.
"The instinct for politicians is to always tell people what they want to hear and I am trying not to do that to make my own life easier because it is really more important that I am frank and up front with people.
"As we get closer to Christmas we will have a better idea of what might be and what might not be possible.
"The only thing I can say with even a smidgen of certainty right now is the more we collectively work together to bring it under control right now, perhaps the more prospect there will be of having some greater degree of normality at Christmas but even that is a statement that is shrouded in some caveats.”