The government has issued a plea for Scots to get ‘boosted by the bells’ as Omicron continues to spread in the country.
Scotland recorded 5242 new cases of Covid-19 in latest figures released on Tuesday as Nicola Sturgeon announced further measures on hospitality and sporting events.
Outdoor events can no longer be attended by more than 500 for three weeks from Boxing Day, meaning the Old Firm game due to be played on Jan 2 is heavily affected and Hogmanay events throughout the country cancelled.
On a visit to a mobile vaccination unit in Edinburgh health secretary Humza Yousaf praised the booster vaccine programme and called on anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to get the booster before the Hogmanay Bells.
Speaking after meeting Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS Lothian staff and members of the public attending for their booster vaccines, Yousaf said: “Getting a booster remains the most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves, and others, against the threat of Omicron and of course to help relieve and reduce the burden on the NHS.
“The booster programme has accelerated significantly and we have doubled the number of Covid vaccinations in the last week, the vast majority of which are boosters.
“I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate the hard work being undertaken by vaccination teams across the country and we are thankful to everyone coming forward to get their jags.
“My message now is clear – we want to make sure as many people as possible are boosted by the Bells. The opportunities are there, including additional facilities like the EICC and Hampden Park, and drop-ins like the one I visited this afternoon.
“The capacity is there, we need people to ensure they keep coming forward.
“Vaccination centres are open on Christmas Eve, so please take advantage because we want to see as many people as possible getting boosted right up to Christmas.
“And if you can’t make it before the 25th, there are lots of appointments available on the online portal from the 27th December, plus drop-ins. Please book today if you can.
“The vaccine is safe and effective and we want as many people as possible to get boosted by the time the bells strike on Hogmanay.”