Deputy first minister recommends ‘no first footing’ at Hogmanay

Speaking after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced tougher Covid-19 restrictions, Swinney said: “I would recommend no first footing."

Deputy first minister recommends ‘no first footing’ at Hogmanay Parliament TV
Swinney: Recommending no first footing.

Scotland’s deputy first minister has recommended that people should stay at home, limit their social interactions and not go first footing at Hogmanay.

Swinney was speaking during an interview with LBC radio’s Eddie Mair and was being questioned on whether Christmas or Hogmanay is a bigger celebration in Scotland.

He spoke about first footing when traditionally, after midnight on January 1, to bring the house good luck, a tall dark man would knock, bringing a lump of coal and a wee dram.

Swinney, speaking after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced tougher Covid-19 restrictions, said: “I would recommend no first footing, yeah.

“I’d say to people to stay at home as much as they possibly can and to limit their social interaction from December 27 onwards, right into early January.

“We’re recognising, I think, that people want to spend time with their families.

“I think most families and folks get together around about Christmas time.

“I accept that Hogmanay, obviously Hogmanay is a massive Scottish celebration, but we think the degree of social interaction, that would happen around about that time, is just too much for us to be able to cope with, along with the celebrations that will take place at Christmas.

Earlier on BBC Scotland’s Drivetime show Swinney suggested last Sunday’s Scottish Football League Cup Final “could well have been” a super spreader Covid-19 event.

BBC Scotland Drivetime presenter Nick Sheridan asked Swinney: “Was the Cup Final a super spreader event and why did it go ahead?”

Swinney replied: “It could well be.

“I think it stands to reason that if we have large numbers of people, 50,000 fans travelling towards a sporting event in one particular part of the country, using multiple modes of transport and interacting with each other – there is a very high danger that will be a super spreader event.”