What Nicola Sturgeon said in today’s Covid update – five key points

Nicola Sturgeon delivered an update today on a number of Covid-related issues, including further restrictions and extension of the vaccine passport.

The Prime Minister’s weekly statement confirmed that COP26 did not cause a further increase in Covid cases despite a gradual increase in cases over the last two weeks.

The SNP leader spoke to the Scottish Parliament when she said she hoped “a lot” to get through the winter without reintroducing restrictions, as some other countries have done.

But FM said the government has a “duty” to keep proportionate options under review.

Here are the highlights of today’s update:

1. Vaccine passports could be extended

The Prime Minister addressed MSPs in his weekly Covid update

Sturgeon said the final decision to extend Scotland’s vaccine passport would be delivered next Tuesday, November 23rd.

If extended, she said the decision would be “justified” and would extend the scheme to venues including cinemas, theaters and some other licensed and hospitality venues.

Any changes, if any, will take effect on December 6th.

FM said it would be “irresponsible” not to consider extending the passport scheme so companies can stay open over Christmas and winter.

She told MSPs: “I am very aware that many companies want us to remove mitigation – including certification – not extend or tighten.

“I understand that well. But all our decisions are motivated by a desire to get through a challenging winter without having to reintroduce trade restrictions.

“We want, if possible, for companies to stay fully open throughout Christmas and winter, while keeping Covid under control.”

“If an extension of the Covid certification can help us with that, it would be irresponsible not to consider it.”

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Negative tests could be an alternative to evidence of vaccination

People could show negative tests instead of proof of vaccination in the NHS Scotland vaccine passport app.

Sturgeon said this measure was “not appropriate” when the app was launched on October 1 and was withheld to increase vaccination rates.

She said: “We are now able to change the scheme so that in addition to showing evidence of vaccination to gain access to a venue, there will also be an opportunity to present evidence of a recent test result.”

Any changes, she said, would take effect on Dec. 6.

COP26 did not contribute to an increase in Covid cases

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon is taking part in the Global Climate Action High-level event: Racing For A Better World on 11 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.  Day twelve of the 2021 COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow will focus on promoting action in the places we live, from communities to cities and regions.
Sturgeon did not confirm a Covid increase from COP26

The Prime Minister confirmed that so far there has been no sign of any significant increase in Covid cases related to COP26.

She credited “strict” risk management measures, such as requiring participants to show daily negative lateral flow tests to enter the Blue Zone, the main summit.

Sturgeon said four out of every 1,000 COP26 participants tested positive in lateral flow testing.

It is lower than the rate across Scotland – 12 people out of 1,000.

“All of this suggests that the mitigation measures introduced were effective,” FM said.

The two-week UN conference ended on Friday.

It is a “civic duty” to be vaccinated

In this file taken on December 8, 2020, Nurse Paula McMahon (R) is preparing a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for another healthcare worker at Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow on December 8, 2020, when the UK starts is the largest ever vaccination program.
FM said by getting a plug, “your own life or the lives of your loved ones”

Sturgeon reinforced the importance of vaccination, calling it the “basis” of Covid measures.

She said: “It’s never too late to get vaccinated. It’s still the most important thing any of us can do right now.

The Prime Minister added that “without good reason” it is “deeply irresponsible” to choose not to be vaccinated and that being stabbed is a “civic duty”.

She said, “You can save your own life or the lives of your loved ones.

“You want to reassure others – even those who are most vulnerable – some of whom have clinical conditions, which means they cannot be vaccinated themselves.

“You want to help those who work in the NHS.

“And you want to maximize our chances of getting through this winter without having to reintroduce any restrictions.”

More than a million booster jabs have been given in Scotland

The Prime Minister said over a million booster doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered in Scotland.

She also said that over 70 percent of those over 70s had gotten a booster rush.

In addition, the online booking portal for younger age groups to plan jabs launched yesterday has seen 54,000 people make reservations.

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