Scotland records another 30 Covid deaths with restrictions set to ease

Latest figures show 6768 cases recorded in past 24 hours ahead of widespread relaxation of rules on Monday.

Scotland has recorded 30 coronavirus deaths and 6768 new cases in the past 24 hours, as the country prepares for most restrictions to be lifted.

Pubs, nightclubs and theatres will be able to operate at full capacity from Monday and hospitality curbs including table service and one metre distancing between groups are being scrapped.

Advice to limit indoor gatherings to three households is also being removed.

The new restrictions on hospitality and household mixing were introduced at Christmas in a bid to to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant.

But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs last week the situation was now “much more positive” than it had been earlier in January, when cases had spiked.

Meanwhile, a top public health expert has predicted that working from home restrictions may be lifted in a matter of weeks.

Advertisement

Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh told STV News: “I think in terms of working from home, advice if you can do that will continue for some time but I think the strong ask for the public and employers and organisations to do that, I think that will be lifted in the coming weeks actually if we continue to move in the right direction.”

However the professor of public health added that mask-wearing may remain in place for months.

She said: “Face coverings, on the other hand, in crowded places I think we’re going to have those for some time.”

Latest Scottish Government data shows there were 1458 people in hospital on Friday with recently confirmed Covid-19, down 53 on the day before, with 16 in intensive care – however, one health board failed to submit their figures for Saturday’s update.

The death toll under the daily measurement, of people who tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days, now stands at 10,195, according to the latest figures published by the Scottish Government.

So far, 4,405,059 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 4,102,038 have received their second dose, and 3,245,885 have received a third dose or booster.

Most existing Covid restrictions will be lifted on Monday but people are still being urged to work from home where possible and other mitigations, such as face coverings in indoor settings and public transport, remain in place for now.

Advertisement

Vaccine passports are not being extended to other premises, such as licensed hospitality venues.

Sturgeon told MSPs last week that the projection of 50,000 new coronavirus infections per day by mid-January had not been met, with the spread limited to around 30,000 per day after restrictions on hospitality and large events were put in place in December.

Numbers at indoor public events have been limited to 100 standing or 200 seated since Christmas.

Pubs and other venues selling alcohol are currently required to offer table service only, while indoor hospitality and leisure venues need to ensure one-metre social distancing between groups of people who are attending together.

Nightclubs have been closed since December 27.

Some Omicron-related restrictions started to ease earlier this month, with limits removed on the number of people that can attend large outdoor public events.