Nicola Sturgeon reminded Scots not to assemble on Hogmanay outside their own households.
The alert comes in the midst of rising numbers of coronavirus cases across Scotland, just days after additional lockdown restrictions on Boxing Day were implemented by the government.
The First Minister said on Twitter on Tuesday morning that it was necessary to follow the rules to suppress a new strain of Covid-19 that was believed to be up to 70% transmissible.
As ministers reaffirm no relaxing of laws, Scots urged ‘not to do hogmanay’
She wrote, “There is an increase in COVID cases.”
To suppress the new strain, Level 4′ restrictions are now in place across mainland Scotland.
Cases of COVID are on the rise. To suppress the new strain, Level 4 restrictions are now in effect across mainland Scotland. It is particularly important that we do not mix, except on Hogmanay, with other households indoors. Please plan to have your own household at home in 2021.
– 29 December 2020 – Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon)
The fact that we don’t mix with other households at home, like Hogmanay, is especially significant.
“Please plan to spend 2021 at home with your own household.”
On Christmas Day, Scots were permitted to mix with others as part of a one-day relaxation, but for New Year’s Eve the limits would not be lifted.
Since the pandemic started, more than 120,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Scotland, and alerts have recently been released about new outbreaks across the world.
The First Minister said there had been “quite a big jump in cases,” on Tuesday afternoon, but admitted there may be a “Christmas delay” in reporting.
The new strain of Covid-19 is leading to the “faster spread” of the virus, she said, and Shetland and Dumfries and Galloway have unique concerns.
“She said, “The most important message to people is to make sure that right now you are not visiting the homes of other people. Unfortunately, for Hogmanay and New Year’s Eve, the same goes.
I know that at this time of year, people want to get together, but it’s not safe to do that this year.
“As we head into Hogmanay and New Year’s Eve, I’m really appealing to people to stay out of other people’s homes and celebrate New Year’s Eve only with their own household.”
Due to the growing levels of Covid 19 in the region, Shetland is at risk of Stage Four restrictions.
Over the past week, with 14 more cases reported yesterday, the islands have seen a rise in positive infections, taking the total to 30 in seven days.
The number of cases has more than doubled in a matter of days in Dumfries and Galloway as the latest mutant strain has broken out there.
Residents of Wigtownshire were advised to stay home after the number of cases increased to 142 on Monday from 64 on Boxing Day.