The First Minister has appealed to people across Scotland to bring in the new year at home with their own household in a bid to suppress the new strain of the coronavirus.
Nicola Sturgeon said Covid-19 cases are “rising” with level four restrictions in place across mainland Scotland to suppress the new strain of the virus.
The latest figures released on Tuesday show there were 1,895 new cases of the virus reported across Scotland in the past 24 hours, which represents 14.4% of the 14,179 tests carried out for Covid-19.
In an appeal to the public, the first minister said it is “especially vital” that people “do not mix indoors with other households, including at Hogmanay”, and instead should bring in the new year in their own home.
Responding to the situation in England, where hospitals are currently treating more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave, the first minister said that in Scotland the number of patients suffering from the virus in hospital and in intensive care is “still below first wave peak”.
“But we mustn’t be complacent,” she added. “Our health and care workers are under severe pressure and need support as well as gratitude.
“We can all help them by acting to suppress the virus.”
🛑 COVID cases are rising. Level 4 restrictions are now in place across mainland Scotland to suppress the new strain. It is especially vital that we do not mix indoors with other households, including at Hogmanay. Please plan to bring in 2021 at home with your own household.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 29, 2020
Level four restrictions
The latest figures released on Tuesday show there were seven new reported deaths of people who have tested positive in the past 24 hours.
However, the Scottish Government cautioned that register offices have been closed over the public holidays.
A total of 1,092 people are in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 and 65 of those are receiving treatment in intensive care.
Due to no data on deaths being reported over the Christmas period, the figures released on Tuesday reveal eight north-east residents died after contracting the virus over the past four days – seven in Aberdeen and one in Aberdeenshire.
The figures also show there were five deaths across Fife and two in Perth and Kinross.
Shetland has experienced a rise of 14 cases since yesterday following an outbreak in the local community. A regional breakdown of the data shows there have been 164 new cases across Grampian and 34 in the Highlands in the last 24 hours.
Neither Orkney or the Western Isles have recorded any cases in the same time frame.
A total of 148 cases were recorded across Tayside in the past 24 hours and 60 in Fife.
The Scottish Government has placed all of mainland Scotland under level four restrictions, to help combat the emergence of a new, faster-spreading variant of Covid-19.
The move to level four means non-essential shops have had to shut, while bars, cafes and restaurants are only allowed to provide takeaway services.
The new measures are intended to be in place for three weeks from Boxing Day.