The ban on evictions in Scotland will be extended until at least March 31, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister said the regulations preventing most evictions from the private and social rented sectors would continue beyond the current end date of January 22.
Ms Sturgeon said evictions would only go ahead in limited cases such as anti-social behaviour.
In December, a total ban on evictions during the winter period was announced.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said the new Covid-19 strain meant there was an even greater public health need to keep people in their homes.
She said: “It’s become even more important to stop people from needing to find a new home or perhaps from having to move in with a different household.
“For that reason the regulations to prevent the enforcement of eviction notices will be extended until March 31 in all Level 3 and Level 4 areas, which of course right now is the entirety of Scotland.
“And if necessary the regulations can be extended further after that date.”
She said these rules would stop the “vast majority” of evictions, with anti-social or criminal behaviour among the limited exceptions.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart submitted a written answer to the Scottish Parliament, saying the regulations would be laid before Holyrood next week.
He said: “This unprecedented action is not taken lightly, we know the rights of tenants and landlords need to be balanced.
“Landlords too face uncertainty and financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, which is why these regulations will be reviewed every 21 days.”
The Scottish Green party had earlier called for the ban on evictions to be extended.
MSP Ross Greer said: “Scotland is decades behind many of our European neighbours when it comes to tenants’ rights.
“Protections like a winter eviction ban are commonplace across the continent.
“Chucking people out of their homes in the cold of winter should be unacceptable whether there’s a pandemic raging on or not.
“So, while we warmly welcome the extension of the emergency ban, the Greens want to see the Housing Minister to go further, ensuring winter evictions are permanently banned.”