Nicola Sturgeon: Omicron’s “tsunami” begins to hit Scotland

Omicron is now the dominant strain of coronavirus in Scotland, said Nicola Sturgeon as she warned that a “tsunami” of the variant was hitting the country.

The Prime Minister said in a briefing that 51.4% of Covid-19 cases in Scotland are likely Omicron.

She said the R number, which measures the rate of infection, could be over four and cases of the virus have increased by more than 40% over the past week.

She urged people to stay at home as Christmas approaches, saying Omicron’s emergence has been the “cruelest blow”.

Nicola Sturgeon provided update on Omicron (Fraser Bremner / Daily Mail / PA) (PA wire)

“The tsunami that I warned about a week ago is now starting to hit us,” she said. “However, and this is a key point, a really key point in fact, one should not be fatalistic about this. We are not helpless in the face of this.

The Prime Minister said that “it appears that boosters are still very effective in reducing the risk of getting seriously ill from Omicron.”

She said the increase in cases is expected to “continue and accelerate”, and stressed the need to slow the spread of the virus, adding: “For now, the scale and the immediacy of the challenge it presents is of deep concern. “

New guidelines in Scotland came into effect on Friday to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

I wrote to the Chancellor last night and the Prime Minister requested talks with the Prime Minister – this situation is serious and we need the UK government to engage with us for further support

Businesses across the country are legally required to take “reasonable steps” to minimize the transmission of the virus.

Guidance includes a return to one-way systems at the premises, application-based control and the use of displays at service points.

The hospitality industry has been encouraged to return to table service where possible and to consider measures to reduce overcrowding.

Earlier, Scottish Economic Secretary Kate Forbes said the Scottish government is calling on the UK Treasury to “step up and provide urgent funding” to businesses.

“I wrote to the Chancellor last night and the Prime Minister requested talks with the Prime Minister – this situation is serious and we need the UK government to engage with us for further support,” she said declared.

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