Nicola Sturgeon tells Scotland: 'Work from home if possible'
Scotland's First Minister is asking everyone to 'increase compliance' with Covid rules and work from home if possible
Nicola Sturgeon said Monday that she wants people in Scotland to work from home after six cases of the new Omicron variant were identified there.
Four cases were found in Lanarkshire, and a further two in the Greater Glasgow area.
The First Minister of Scotland spoke out as global concern around Omicron intensifies, saying: "There is no doubt this presents potentially the most challenging development in the course of the pandemic for quite some time.
"There might already be some community transmission, but no evidence from enhanced surveillance it is widespread."
Sturgeon has called for everyone to "step up and increase compliance in wearing face masks", pointing out that while the UK government has tightened restrictions in England, in Scotland they are already tougher.
"This is a concerning development and if we take it as a reminder not to let our guard slip we can protect the stronger position we had gotten ourselves into," she said.
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Looking ahead to Christmas, Sturgeon said increased compliance could help Scotland avoid the need for tighter protections in the weeks to come.
The Scottish and Welsh Governments have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, calling for a mandatory eight-day quarantine for all new arrivals to the UK.
Sturgeon said Scotland is working with the UK government to introduce a four-nation plan to toughen up travel restrictions. Both devolved nations believe people arriving in the UK should have to isolate for eight days, with PCR tests at day eight in addition to day two testing, which is already in place.
Scotland and Wales say a UK-wide approach is urgently needed because new arrivals are able to travel freely throughout the four nations if they land in England.
Sturgeon stressed there is “a huge amount that we do not yet know” about the variant but the number of mutations suggests it might be more transmissible.
Until more information about the new strain is known, Sturgeon has asked everyone to get vaccinated, take part in regular testing and work from home if possible.