The household contacts of any person who tests positive for Covid should isolate for ten days, Nicola Sturgeon has said, as she warned of a potential “tsunami” of infections.
The First Minister said the change, which will be introduced from Saturday, is “essential”, with fears over a rising number of cases across the country.
At a Covid briefing on Friday, Sturgeon said that a total of 110 Omicron cases had been confirmed in Scotland as of Thursday at 5pm, as she indicated the Government’s certainty of a new surge.
The First Minister explained that the Omicron variant is “significantly” more transmissible than the Delta variant.
Sturgeon was joined by chief medical officer Gregor Smith and national clinical director Jason Leitch for the update on Friday afternoon.
Sturgeon started by saying she is going to “level with us” on the state of the Omicron variant spread.
She said Scotland faces a renewed and “very severe challenge” and facing a “potential tsunami” of infections.
She reported 5018 positive cases of coronavirus on Thursday, adding: “Now, this is one day’s figures, but as you can see it is a sharp rise on the average of around 2800 per day that that we have been reporting recently.
“It underlines our fear that a new wave may indeed be starting.”
The briefing follows Public Health Scotland issuing a plea urging people to cancel Christmas parties due to the number of Covid-19 outbreaks linked to such events.
On Thursday evening, NHS Lanarkshire announced it had suspended all but “essential” visiting across its hospitals as pressure grows on the health service.
The First Minister previously said she wanted to wait three weeks to see the impact of the new strain, but on Friday afternoon is expected to set out the latest ahead of her statement to parliament on Tuesday.