Mosque attack suspect ‘had video of mass killing on phone’

Sam Imrie has been charged with posting statements suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre.

'Terror plot' trial: Sam Imrie. PA Ready via PA Ready
'Terror plot' trial: Sam Imrie.

A phone recovered from a man on trial for terrorism offences contained three copies of a livestream of the 2019 mass shooting in New Zealand, a court has heard.

The attack was carried out on a mosque in Christchurch by Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people and injured 40 others.

An iPhone belonging to Sam Imrie, 24, also contained a number of images glorifying the New Zealand shooter, with the words “Brenton Tarrant did nothing wrong”, “hail Tarrant” and “Saint Tarrant”.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, detective constable Murray Cairns of the Edinburgh organised crime and counter-terrorism unit described the footage of the attack as “horrific.”

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He told the court: “(Tarrant) carried out a filming session of the attack. He livestreamed it at first, which was copied and then went massive on the internet.”

Asked to describe the video, he said: “It’s horrific. It starts with him driving, playing music before arriving at the Islamic centre.

“You see him getting the weapon from his car, going to the Islamic centre, you can see people walking towards him and he starts shooting, murdering them.

“You see him going from room to room, getting back into his vehicle.

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“It’s graphic, you see him deciding when to fire and when not to fire.”

Imrie has been charged with posting statements on social media platform Telegram suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

The 24-year-old has also been accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident”.

DC Cairns told the High Court in Edinburgh he had retrieved the files from the accused’s phone on July 31 2019.

The court was also shown images from the accused’s Facebook page.

The cover photo on the Facebook page was described in court as Adolf Hitler, standing in front of a microphone, addressing a crowd.

His biography read: “Seeing muslims suffer.”

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Several symbols associated with “far right Nazism” were also posted on the Facebook page.

DC Cairns said one post which said “1488” could be explained in two parts.

The number 14 related to a sentence in Mein Kampf, a book written by Adolf Hitler, which he told the court said something along the lines of “We must assure a future for our people and a future for white children.”

He said it is associated with “modern neo-Nazi movements.”

The number 88, he said can be read as “HH” or “Heil Hitler”, with the numbers “transposed to letters”.

Among other charges, Imrie is accused of being in possession of neo-Nazi, antisemitic and anti-Muslim material, extreme pornography, including indecent images of children, and an image involving a human corpse.

He is also charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in July 2019.

He denies all of the nine charges against him, three of which come under the Terrorism Act.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.


Man charged and due in court over death of teenager Amber Gibson

The 16-year-old was reported missing from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, after failing to return home last Friday night.

Police Scotland
Police: A suspect has been charged in connection with the death of Amber Gibson.

A man has been charged and is due in court in connection with the death of 16-year-old Amber Gibson.

The teenager was reported missing from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, after failing to return home last Friday night.

Her body was eventually discovered in the town’s Cadzow Glen park on Sunday morning.

Amber’s death was initially treated as unexplained, but police later launched a murder inquiry following a post-mortem examination.

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Hamilton: Flowers left in tribute to the murdered teen.
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On Wednesday evening, Police Scotland confirmed a 19-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the death.

On Thursday, a force spokesperson confirmed the suspect had now been charged and is due to appear at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Friday.

They said: “Police Scotland can confirm that the 19-year-old man who had been arrested last night, Wednesday, December 1, has now been charged.

“A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

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Family of mother who died after M9 crash awarded more than £1m

Lamara Bell died in hospital after lying undiscovered at side of motorway for three days.

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John Yuill and Lamara Bell died after their car left the M9 near Stirling.

The family of a young mother who died after lying undiscovered in a car for days following a crash on the M9 has been awarded more than £1m in damages.

Lamara Bell and her partner John Yuill both died after their car left the motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015.

Despite a call being made to police, it took three days for the force to respond and when officers finally arrived at the scene, Yuill was found to be dead while Bell died four days later in hospital.

In a statement, the Bell family said: “Imagine chasing answers, recognition and justice for six years and all you get is silence then in the space of three months you get a conviction and a civil settlement – it is fair say our thoughts and feelings are all over the place right now.

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“Our pain and loss won’t stop just because the legal proceedings are over but there is at least a sense of peace that comes with their conclusion.

“But that peace is fleeting because ultimately we are still without Lamara.

“We are without a daughter and sister and her children are without a mother – such an outcome cannot, and should not ever, go unheeded in a fair society and we are glad to finally have attained that which we sought.

“We’d like to thank our friends, family, community and legal team for all their support but now we really would like to be left alone as we look to the future.”

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Police Scotland was fined £100,000 earlier this year after admitting failings which “materially contributed” to the deaths of Bell and Yuill.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard in September that Bell would probably have survived had she had been found sooner.

Delivering the sentence, Lord Beckett said: “This case arose from terrible events in which two relatively young people died, one of them after days of severe physical suffering when she must have been in an almost unimaginable state of anxiety.

“As days and hours went by she must have been in a state of disbelief that no help arose.”

Lord Beckett said it was “unprecedented” for the police service of Scotland to have been accused and convicted in the High Court.

The office of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland admitted it failed to ensure that people, including Yuill and Bell, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety by failing to provide an “adequate and reliable call-handling system” between April 1 2013 and March 1 2016.

It also failed to ensure the system was “not vulnerable to unacceptable risks arising from human error” and to ensure that all relevant information reported by members of the public was recorded on a Police Scotland IT system so that it could be considered and a police response provided where appropriate.

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The force admitted that as a result, members of the public were exposed to risks to their health and safety and, in particular, on July 5, 2015, a police officer at the force call-handling centre at Bilston Glen Service Centre failed to record a phone call from a member of the public reporting that a vehicle was at the bottom of an embankment at the side of the eastbound junction nine slip road from the M80 on to the M9.

The phone call was not recorded on any Police Scotland IT system and no action was taken.

The force admitted Bell and Yuill remained “unaided and exposed to the elements” in the car between July 5 and 8, 2015, and that the failings “materially contributed” to Bell’s death on July 12 that year at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

The force pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown, added: “The Bell family has endured things very few people could ever comprehend but the patience, resilience and compassion they have shown at all times cannot be understated.

“It is unfortunate Police Scotland did not admit its failings sooner as it might have spared them unnecessary distress but at least we do now have a conclusion and the Bells can rightly focus on themselves and times ahead.”


Two men charged over death of cyclist who disappeared four years ago

Tony Parsons' remains were discovered more than three years after he disappeared.

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Police: Tony Parsons' remains were discovered more than three years after he disappeared.

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a cyclist who disappeared more than four years ago.

Anthony Parsons, also known as Tony, travelled from his home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, to Fort William in the Highlands for a charity cycle on September 29, 2017, but failed to return home.

The 63-year-old former Navy petty officer travelled south on the A82 and was last seen on October 2 at around 11.30pm outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Argyll and Bute.

On January 12 this year, specialist search officers, supported by forensic scientists, discovered his remains in a remote area of ground close to a farm near the A82 at Bridge of Orchy.

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On Thursday, Police Scotland confirmed that two 29-year-old men had been arrested and charged in connection with Mr Parsons’ death.

The suspects are due to appear at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in West Dunbartonshire later on Thursday.

Detective inspector John McFall, of the Major Investigations Team and who led the inquiry team, said: “I would like to offer my thanks to the local community for all their help and assistance throughout this investigation and to those who came forward with significant information.”

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Pilot that deviated from flight path had not flown in 18 months

There was 67 passengers and six crew members on board the plane.

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Plane: Deviated from expected route.

The pilots of a plane that significantly deviated from its flight path and started descending 3000ft a minute had not flown in over a year, an investigation has heard.

The ‘serious’ incident took place at Aberdeen Airport on September 11 when a Boeing 737-800 with 67 passengers and six crew members on board deviated ‘significantly’ during a go-around.

However, no link was established between the incident and the fact neither of the pilots had ‘flown for significant periods’ for around 18 months before.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has now issued a warning to raise awareness of the event and to highlight that go-arounds can “provoke errors” if not “practiced frequently”.

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In a statement released on Thursday the AAIB said: “The pilots, like many other pilots, had not flown for significant periods during the 18 months before this incident.

“Although the investigation has not established a link between this incident and a lack of recent line flying, it is clearly a possibility.

“Therefore, this Special Bulletin is published to raise awareness of this event and to highlight that go‑arounds from intermediate altitudes on an approach can provoke errors because they are not practiced frequently.

“The aircraft deviated significantly from the expected flight path, initially climbing, but just before it reached the cleared altitude began to descend.

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“It descended with a maximum rate of descent of more than 3000 ft/min, and it accelerated to an airspeed of 286kt (the selected airspeed was 200kt) before the crew corrected the flightpath.

“The subsequent approach and landing were completed without further incident.”

The full report into the incident can be read here.

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Military deployed to help in aftermath of Storm Arwen

Around 120 troops will 'focus on welfare checks on the ground' in communities still impacted by loss of power.

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Storm Arwen uprooted trees and ripped down power lines.

More than 100 soldiers are being deployed to assist people still without power in Aberdeenshire following the devastation caused by Storm Arwen.

Troops will start arriving in affected communities on Thursday morning after the local authority made a formal approach to the UK Government requesting assistance.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has reconnected more than 120,000 customers following “catastrophic damage” caused by Friday’s storm, and hoped to restore power to an additional 2500 homes overnight.

The majority of those still without supply are in rural communities in areas including Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perthshire and Stirlingshire.

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A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council said around 120 military personnel are due to arrive in the area “to support our ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen”.  

The spokesperson added: “The troops will focus on welfare checks on the ground within those communities still impacted by loss of power and will supplement what our own teams have been doing since the weekend.  

“We continue to appreciate all the wonderful examples of community assistance which continue to be evident across the region – whether it be supplies of hot food and drinks, checking on elderly residents and neighbours or helping to deliver supplies.  

“Thank you for your all your endeavours and rest assured we continue to work tirelessly to provide the support our communities require at this challenging time.”

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SSEN has said it will reimburse all reasonable accommodation costs for any customer unable to make alternative arrangements.

Customers unable to access the company’s welfare facilities for free hot food and drinks can also claim the cost of takeaways or meals from local establishments, up to £15 per person.

Chris Burchell, SSEN managing director, described Storm Arwen as a “once in a generation extreme weather event” and said the company was doing all it could to restore power “as quickly as possible”.

He added: “As our teams continue to make good progress repairing and restoring the high voltage network in what remains very challenging conditions, we are increasingly turning our focus to the low voltage network, which serves single or groups of homes, often in rural and isolated communities.

“Whilst the low voltage network only serves a fraction of the customers the high voltage network supplies, the repairs required to restore power are just as challenging and complex, which in some cases will require the rebuild of entire sections of overhead line.

“We therefore encourage all customers who remain off supply, particularly where overhead network infrastructure supplies single or small groups of houses, to consider making alternative arrangements.

“This includes our enhanced welfare provisions, with our teams proactively contacting customers to help coordinate support where possible.”

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‘Right to die when I want would be the greatest gift of all’

Kay Smith is terminally ill and backs a change in the law to allow assisted dying.

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“It would be the greatest gift that the people of Scotland could give to those whose voices are not being heard.”

Kay Smith is talking about the right to die at a time of her choosing, surrounded by her family and having said a proper goodbye.

The 57-year-old used to relish adventure, with a passion for scuba diving in exotic locations around the world, but she is now living with a range of debilitating illnesses and her life has changed beyond recognition. 

Kay’s medical notes describe “multiple comorbidities” – she has an extreme form of lupus, which attacks the immune system and has led to other complicated conditions, including peripheral artery disease and diabetes.

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Also allergic to painkillers, she expects to die from sepsis, or blood poisoning, which can be caused by lupus.

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Kay Smith is passionate about ending her life on her own terms.

Having seen so many deaths in her career as a palliative care nurse, she’s passionate about ending her life on her own terms and is backing a change to the law that would allow assisted dying.

“I have daughters, I have my husband, I have my grandchildren, I don’t want to watch them watch me suffer and die from sepsis, because it’s a horrendous way to die,” Kay, from Kilwinning, tells Thursday night’s episode of STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight.

“The public has to realise that [if] the law’s passed, it doesn’t mean to say you use it. It’s a personal choice, but in choosing, it gives you peace of mind and allows you to live the best life you can until that moment arrives.

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“And that to me is priceless, I could have quality time with my family and be able to say my goodbyes.  

“As a nurse and as a person in my situation [a change in the law] will be sheer and utter relief.” 

A third attempt to legalise assisted dying, this time drafted by Liberal Democrats MSP Liam McArthur, is currently going through its consultation stage.

His proposal argues that terminally ill, mentally competent adults should be able to access “safe and compassionate dying if they choose, rather than face a prolonged and painful death”. It says the proposal aims to “complement palliative care”. 

‘Improve end-of-life care instead’

But opponents say that rather than change the law, palliative care should be improved to help those at the end of their lives.  

Dr Gillian Wright is part of Our Duty of Care, an organisation made up of healthcare workers who are opposed to assisted dying laws. 

The group has written a letter to health secretary Humza Yousaf, outlining their main concerns. 

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“Our principal concerns are for vulnerable members of society, particularly those who are disabled, those who are terminally ill, those who are depressed,” says Dr Wright, a former palliative care doctor.

“It’s a huge thing for doctors to change from preserving life to taking life, and that’s the fundamental objection we have.

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Dr Gillian Wright is among medics opposed to assisted dying.

“We felt it was really important that there was a clear medical voice of opposition against assisted dying.

“And rather than say to people when you’re giving them a terminal diagnosis that the state would help them take their own life, we should as a society be backing really excellent palliative care research.”  

Dr Wright says there are concerns that if a law is passed, the legislation could be extended in the future and believes vulnerable patients would be most at risk. 

“If you look at an example such as Canada, they introduced legislation similar to what he is proposing – for terminally ill, mentally competent adults – but already, within five years, it has been challenged in the courts for being discriminatory,” she says.

“I think the current law [in Scotland] is the safeguard, it is the protection of the vulnerable. I would be really concerned for patients such as dementia, for children, for adolescents that we would be in a situation where we can’t come back from.”

Scotland Tonight is on STV and the STV Player at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 2.


White nationalist who threatened to set fire to mosque jailed

Sam Imrie from Fife was sentenced to seven and a half years for terrorist offences on Thursday.

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Jailed: Sam Imrie sentenced to seven and a half years for terrorist offences.

A white nationalist who idolised right-wing mass killers and hated Muslims has been jailed for a total of seven and a half years for terrorist offences.

On Thursday, Sam Imrie was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow for what a judge described as the “despicable spreading of hate”.

The 24-year-old had been arrested in July 2019 after he posted messages on social media saying he was planning to set fire to the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.

Police discovered he had been “glorifying” murderers online – including terrorist Anders Brevik, who slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

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Officers also seized a terrifying arsenal of weapons at his home in Glenrothes consisting of knives, a hammer, nunchucks, an axe and a rifle scope.

Imrie was convicted of two charges of breaching the terrorism act, wilful fire raising, possessing child and “extreme” pornography and drink-driving following a trial in Edinburgh in October.

Lord Mulholland told him: “You posted on a neo-Nazi chatroom your hatred of Muslim, Jews, black people and refugees.

“You revered neo-Nazi and white supremacists. You lauded their crimes against innocent people.

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“You were spreading hate and encouraging others to take terrorist action that you pretended you had.

“Your conduct was despicable. You have no understanding or self-awareness of the hatred that you tried to spread.

“Many Muslims died fighting for the alliance in World War Two for the freedoms that you enjoyed.

“I hope you take advantage of your time in custody to remove the hatred from your heart.”

Imrie showed no emotion as he was led back to the cells, other than to wave to his mother in the public benches.

Jurors heard how Imrie was a loner and had developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after being assaulted when he was younger.

He became “steeped” in right-wing ideology and started to “hate” Muslims after looking at extremist content on websites such as 8Chan and messaging app Telegram.

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Imrie posted online: “All my heroes are mass murderers.”

His Snapchat username was “N*****killer1488”.

As well as idolising Brevik, Imrie was also fascinated with Brenton Tarrant, who killed Muslims praying at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019.

Imrie was said to have wanted Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “to die” because of her attitudes to immigration.

His arrest came after the Metropolitan Police in London infiltrated the “FashWave Artists” group on Telegram, on which Imrie posted messages, images, videos and gifs.

He had posted a series of messages claiming he was going to “burn down” a mosque and live stream it.

The Met contacted Police Scotland and Imrie was held in early July 2019.

The trial heard he went to the Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, but did not do anything.

Imrie instead went to dilapidated Strathmore Lodge, in Thornton, Fife, and set fire to a doorway. 

He filmed it and claimed to the group it was a mosque or Islamic centre.

Jurors heard he ended up being “ridiculed” by the online audience.

Imrie had denied the crimes. It was claimed his comments were a joke and that he was not serious about torching a mosque.

But, he was convicted of a terrorism charge of making statements on Telegram and Facebook which encouraged acts of terrorism.

A second charge stated Imrie made a “record of information” which would be useful to somebody who was committing acts of terrorism.

He was acquitted of a terrorism charge which stated that he engaged in conduct in “preparation” of terrorism acts.

Police also confiscated a USB stick from Imrie. The images contained “extreme” pornographic images, which he was further convicted of.

Jim Keegan QC, defending, said: “He wrote to his mother to apologise for his behaviour.

“He gave evidence during the trial…he accepts his behaviour was inappropriate, stupid, vile.”

Imrie was also put on the sex offenders list for ten years.

He was also given a five-year serious crime prevention order designed to tackle and monitor criminals when they are freed.


Injured sea turtle finds new home 5000 miles away in Scotland

April, an olive ridley sea turtle, was found with a plastic bag around her neck in the Maldives.

Kirsty O'Connor via PA Media

A sea turtle has a new home in Scotland after being found injured and entangled in a plastic bag in the Maldives.

April, an olive ridley sea turtle, was in care at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives Landaa Giraavaru after being found injured in Raa Atoll in April 2019.

When she was found, she was floating on the ocean surface entangled in netting with a plastic bag around her neck.

She was already missing her right front flipper because of the netting and her left front flipper was injured by the friction caused by the plastic bag.

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An X-ray later revealed she was also suffering from a lung infection, with possible tears in her lungs.

Vets found April suffers from buoyancy issues – where she cannot fully immerse herself under water – which means that she cannot return to the wild.

This has led to the turtle being relocated 5000 miles from the Maldives to Loch Lomond, making her the first olive ridley sea turtle in the UK.

Two Maldives-based environmental agencies, Reefscapers And Marine Savers, as well as the UK’s Sea Life aquarium business and its conservation charity the Sea Life Trust, teamed up with IAG Cargo to fly April to her new UK home.

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April joins five other sea turtles taken to new homes through the Flying Turtles Project, while Marine Savers has rehabilitated and released more than 180 others to date.

Kathryn Angel, Sea Life Loch Lomond’s general manager, said: “We are thrilled to welcome April to the Loch Lomond family. She has settled in brilliantly. To have a turtle in our facility once again is a real pleasure.

“April suffered injuries as a result of plastic pollution, so by having April on site at Sea Life Loch Lomond, children can actually see the impact that plastic pollution can have on the creatures first hand.”

Andy Torbet, Sea Life Trust ambassador, said: “Being re-homed to the Sea Life Centre is great for April, it’s going to give her the best quality of life that she can have for the remainder of her life.

“She’ll be a great ambassador not only for marine life and sea turtles, but because of her injuries, which were quite obvious, she’ll act as an ambassador for the idea of plastic pollution and ghost netting being an issue, and why we need to do something about that.

“When you see an injured turtle up close and personal with injuries caused by ghost nets and plastic pollution, that sort of issue is driven home a lot more intensely.”


Scotland’s tenth Omicron case has no ‘direct link’ to previous nine

All previous known cases of the latest coronavirus variant were all connected to a single event held on November 20.

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Coronavirus: Ten people have tested for positive for the Omicron variant in Scotland.

Scotland has recorded a tenth positive Omicron case which has no direct link to the previous nine, the government confirmed.

All previous known cases of the latest coronavirus variant were connected to a single event held on November 20.

On Thursday Public Health Scotland revealed a new case has been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region.

All known cases so far have come within the Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow areas.

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Close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The individual affected is in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area and while there is no direct link with the event on the 20th November which connected the previous nine cases, investigations are ongoing.

“As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told parliament on Tuesday, it was already suspected that some degree of community transmission of this variant was taking place in Scotland.

“However, there is no indication as yet that transmission of the new variant is either sustained or widespread.

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“Public Health Scotland is working hard to identify any and all cases of Omicron in Scotland as quickly as possible.

“This enhanced surveillance gives us the best possible chance of identifying cases quickly, breaking transmission chains and containing spread while we learn more about this variant.”

The Scottish Government said that vaccination is the “most important line of defence” and also urged people to comply “rigorously” with all the protections currently in place to stem transmission.

The First Minister has said she is not asking people to put Christmas plans on hold at the moment following the emergence of the Omicron variant but she urged people to take a lateral flow test before mixing with other households.

Booster vaccinations are being extended to all those aged 18 and the interval between the second and third dose is being cut from six to three months after a recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.


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