Covid Scotland: 'Potential' for further Omicron restrictions before Christmas if situation worsens says John Swinney

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said that if the guidance issued yesterday makes no difference to the Omicron situation in Scotland the government could “potentially” consider more restrictions ahead of Christmas.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday Mr Swinney said they would be monitoring the data daily to determine if there are any “changes in the pattern of Omicron” and that the three-week review period is in place for accessing the current guidelines.

He said that if they do see changes in the coming weeks more restrictions could “potentially” be brought in before Christmas, adding that they hope the measures brought in yesterday would do enough.

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He said: “The primary purpose of the guidance that we set out yesterday is to encourage people to reduce their social interaction.

"We know that large groups of households mixing can be ready sources for the spread of coronavirus and so what we’re trying to say to people is to reduce where possible their social interactions on either side of the formal Christmas period so that we can all enjoy Christmas with those that we love.”

Mr Swinney said that people who have tickets to concerts or large scale events shouldn’t necessarily cancel, but rather they should ensure they are fully vaccinated and take a lateral flow test before going.

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Asked to address the confusion over why Scots can still go to a large, busy event filled with strangers but are being asked to limit the number of households and family members they meet, Mr Swinney said: “What we’re trying to do is strike a balance. There is no perfect black and white situation.

Covid Scotland: 'Potential' for further Omicron restrictions before Christmas if situation worsens says John Swinney

"What we’re trying to do is give people guidance that will help a communal effort to suppress the spread of the virus.

"People aren’t going to the panto every night. They’re going to be planning it once over the Christmas period and people have been looking forward to that.

"So we’re trying to say go ahead with that safely, but try to then temper the amount of social interaction you have with multiple households on other occasions.”

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