Omicron 'tsunami '

Tighter isolation as FM echoes Xmas party ban

Pre-departure Covid tests

Covid testing will be stepped up

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today warned that Scotland is facing a “tsunami” of Omicron cases and has joined a call for Christmas parties to be scrapped.

Describing the 110 cases so far as “tip of the iceberg” she announced changes to self-isolation guidelines, stating that from Saturday all household contacts of any Covid cases should isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status and even if they initially get a negative PCR test.

Non-household contacts can leave isolation if they have had a negative PCR test and have had two vaccine doses.

Ms Sturgeon said it was hoped – although not known – that Omicron may cause less severe illness on average than Delta, despite being much more transmittable.

But she said that even if this is true, the surge in cases that was now “virtually certain” would still result in a “massive” number of people needing hospital care.

She warned of a “significant strain” on the economy and public services.

ScotRail has already been forced to cancel 60 train services because of staff calling in with Covid, while many staff at an accident and emergency unit in Lanarkshire are also having to isolate after attending a social event and becoming infected.

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