SCOTLAND’s Hogmanay celebrations were curtailed for a second year in a row as a result of Covid restrictions.
Before Christmas, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people to “stay at home as much as possible.”
New limits on large public gatherings forced the cancellation of New Year’s Eve street parties, for the second year, including the one planned for Edinburgh which attracts tens of thousands of people.
Hogmanay street parties across Scotland were cancelled, with crowds at outdoor public events capped at 500 since Boxing Day, for at least three weeks, and numbers at indoor public events limited to 100 standing or 200 seated.
Ms Sturgeon said the restrictions were aimed at cutting down transmission of the Omicron coronavirus variant and because “large events put an additional burden on emergency services”.
But how long could these restrictions last? Here’s what we know so far.
When is Nicola Sturgeon’s next Covid update?
Nicola Sturgeon’s next Covid update, according to the Scottish Parliament website, is on Tuesday, January 11.
This date marks the formal three-week review of restrictions, with the First Minister set to announce any extension of the curbs.
Speaking last week, Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch hinted that restrictions could change before the official review.
He said: “We’ll give the best advice we can but there is an official review, a legal review, every three weeks with those restrictions but that doesn’t mean things can’t go up or down in the middle weeks.”
How can I watch Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid briefing?
The Covid update will be streamed on the Scottish government’s social media channels.
It can also be watched on their official TV website.
And we’ll bring you all the updates on our website.
Will more restrictions be introduced in Scotland?
Speaking to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland last week, Prof Leitch failed to rule out further restrictions.
He said: “I hope we can get away without anything too dramatic on top of what we’ve already done.
“I’m very conscious that there are people in the economic advice space, the mental health advice, the social policy, the education, of course, and those who have businesses and employees who have taken a hit in the few weeks leading up to Christmas.
“We don’t want that to last any longer than it needs, but the public health advice is that Omicron remains a danger to the country, in fact the WHO advice is that it remains a danger to the whole world, and therefore you should act very cautiously if you decide to remove protections.”