Nicola Sturgeon to give final Covid update before Christmas TODAY

The First Minister will address MSPs at Holyrood, confirming any changes to restrictions over the festive period.

It is expected that Ms Sturgeon will NOT bring in any new rules limiting gatherings on Christmas Day, which will come as a relief to families up and down the country.

However, it is thought that tighter curbs may come into force after Boxing Day.

Sources revealed restrictions on mass gatherings would be considered by the cabinet before Ms Sturgeon’s update.

It’s thought they could affect footie matches and big events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

And, with Holyrood set to break up from Christmas Eve until January 9, the SNP chief will need to outline any key Covid changes at parliament this week.

It comes after a COBRA meeting that took place yesterday as leaders from across the UK discussed spiralling Omicron cases.

The Covid update is set to take place at around 2.20pm in Holyrood.

On Sunday, the Treasury said it was doubling extra Covid funding for the Scottish Government to £440million after calls for extra support for business.

It means the new cash announced last night would put Holyrood £17million up on the level Nats chiefs claimed they had been expecting.

Ms Sturgeon had suggested she was unable to move to legally restrict businesses like pubs and nightclubs because of a lack of money.

It is unclear if the extra money will pave the way for new curbs.

Last week, Ms Sturgeon said the Omicron variant is “spreading exceptionally fast” in Scotland and risks driving a “more rapid increase” in cases.

She added: “If we don’t act now, what we have feared all along, but have so far avoided, the overwhelming of the NHS will happen.”

The First Minister called for Scots to reduce direct contact with people from other households and stay at home as much as possible.

KEEP SOCIALISING ‘SAFE’

She said: “Please reduce your contact with people from households other than your own as much as you possibly can. For now, please stay at home much more than you normally would and as much as is feasible.

“Right now, the risk of getting Covid from interactions with others is high and it is rising. So ask yourself before doing anything you might have planned over the coming days – Is it as safe as it needs to be? And is it vital enough to you to justify that risk?

“I suspect what is most important to most of us over the next couple of weeks is having time with our families at Christmas. Every interaction we have before then increases the risk of us getting Covid and so possibly losing that.”

SOURCE

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