Nicola Sturgeon urges Scots to 'think very carefully' before booking travel overseas given changeable Covid-19 and quarantine situation

Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to "think very carefully" before travelling overseas given the changeable situation with Covid-19 and quarantine restrictions - and suggested holidaying in Scotland instead.

The First Minister also said today that the focus remains on keeping Covid-19 infection levels "really low" to ensure children can return to school on August 11, and to enable the removal of a requirement for people to shield from the end of July.

Ms Sturgeon said the recent coronavirus outbreak at the Sitel call centre in North Lanarkshire was a "salutary reminder" of how virus transmission can occur and spread in the workplace and that non-essential offices and call centres should remain closed until the government deems it safe enough to reopen them.

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Fifteen workers at the Sitel call centre have tested positive for coronavirus and five further cases are family members.

Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to "think very carefully" about overeas travel given the changeable situation with Covid-19 and quarantine restrictions.

During her briefing today, Ms Sturgeon also outlined five key steps to keeping transmission levels low which include: wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces such as shops and on public transport; avoiding crowded places indoors and outdoors; washing hands and hard surfaces regularly; sticking to the two metre social distancing rule; self isolating and booking a test if you start showing virus symptoms.

While answering questions from the media, the First Minister also made clear the easing of overseas quarantine restrictions in countries like Spain is not fixed and can change in line with what the data says about rates of virus transmission there.

Ms Sturgeon said: "You should think very carefully right now about overseas travel if it's not essential and, if you want to holiday, then holiday here in Scotland."

She added that holidaying at home would also be a good way to help Scotland’s tourism sector.

Latest Covid-19 figures

It comes as National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures published today revealed Covid-19 appeared on just six death certificates last week, representing the 12th weekly reduction in a row.

The figures showed there were 4,193 deaths registered in Scotland where coronavirus was listed as a confirmed or suspected cause of death up to July 19.

Scottish Government daily figures, which cover deaths where someone has tested positive for the virus, puts the death toll at 2,491 as of Wednesday with no confirmed Covid-19 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.