‘Bring in the bells at home as coronavirus cases are rising’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is reminding Scots not to mix indoors with other households, including at Hogmanay.

Nicola Sturgeon is urging Scots to stay at home this Hogmanay as she warned coronavirus cases are rising.

The First Minister issued a reminder that level four restrictions are now in place across mainland Scotland to suppress a variant strain of the deadly virus.

The new strain may be up to 70% more transmissible than the old variant and could increase the R number by 0.4.

The relaxation of the Covid rules over the festive season were scaled back to Christmas Day only in response to the new strain.

Mainland Scotland was then moved into tier four of the restrictions for three weeks from Boxing Day.

Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles were also moved from level one into level three.

On Tuesday, Sturgeon urged all those planning to see in the New Year to bring in the bells at home.

In a Twitter post, she said: “Covid cases are rising. 

“Level four 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.”

The Scottish Government later confirmed a further seven people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

The update on Tuesday takes into account Covid deaths registered between December 25 and 28, though it was noted that register offices have been closed over the public holidays.

The death toll of those who had tested positive stands at 4467, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is at least 6298.

Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 122,786 – a jump of 1895 in the past 24 hours.

According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 1092 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. Out of those, 65 patients are in intensive care.

The First Minister earlier tweeted: “In Scotland, [the number] of Covid patients in hospital/ICU are still below [the] first wave peak. But we mustn’t be complacent. 

“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.”

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