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by Louise Wilson
09 December 2021
Cancel Christmas parties, says Public Health Scotland

Cancel Christmas parties, says Public Health Scotland

The public is being urged to cancel Christmas parties planned for the rest of December after several Covid outbreaks had been linked to them.

The rise of the new Omicron variant has caused concern among public health officials, particularly as little is yet known about transmissibility and severity of illness.

Dr Nick Phin, director of public health science at Public Health Scotland, said: “To help minimise the further spread of Covid-19, and Omicron in particular, I would strongly urge people to defer their Christmas parties to another time.

“I appreciate that everyone is keen to celebrate this festive season, particularly after the pressures of the last twenty months, but by postponing some plans we can all do our bit to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

It comes after 3,196 Covid cases were confirmed in the last day, around 8 per cent of all tests taken.

A report earlier this week said there had been 389 confirmed or possible cases of Omicron in total, with almost half (48 per cent) in the 20-39 age group.

Booster vaccinations are currently only being offered to over 40s.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that Omicron was expected to cause a “continued and potentially rapid rise in cases in the days ahead”.

She urged people to work from home for the next six weeks, as well as continue to observe other protections such as face masks, taking up the vaccine and regular handwashing.

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