Edinburgh's Hogmanay event cancelled as the Borders records first Omicron cases

Christmas is not cancelled, despite a continued rise in new Covid-19 cases across the country, however, new restrictions put in place by the Scottish Government, will mean Edinburgh’s Hogmanay event will not go ahead.

By Kevin Janiak
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:31 pm
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the cancellation of the UK’s biggest party to welcome in 2022 in a speech to MSPs on Tuesday.

Spectators will also be banned from football and other sports matches, as numbers at large gatherings are limited for three weeks from Boxing Day.

Table service will be re-introduced pubs and other hospitality venues serving alcohol, and indoor hospitality and leisure venues will be required to keep a one metre distance between separate groups of customers.

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Some £375 million will be allocated to support businesses suffering as a result of these new rules, Ms Sturgeon said.

Rules around household mixing over Christmas will remain unchanged, but Scots have been asked to limit social mixing as much as possible once the Christmas weekend is over.

While the fast-spreading Omicron variant accounts for 62.9% of cases in Scotland, the Borders recorded its first six cases this week.

With 90 new cases of Covid-19 reported on Tuesday, the latest seven-day total was at 470, a worrying increase from last week’s figures.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We know that the much higher transmissibility of Omicron means large gatherings have the potential to become very rapid super-spreader events, putting large numbers at risk of getting infected very quickly.

“Limiting these events helps reduce the risk of widespread transmission. It also cuts down the transmission risks associated with travel to and from such events."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Also this week, NHS Borders announced that in a bid to increase booster jabs, the flu vaccination will no longer be given at the same time.

A spokesperson for the local health board said: “We are focusing more on maximising uptake of Covid-19 boosters. If you have already booked an appointment for both your Covid-19 booster and flu vaccination at our community vaccination clinics, you will now only receive your booster.

“However, in line with clinical guidance we will continue to offer flu vaccination to people in the most at risk groups, for example pregnant women, people aged 65 years and over, and people with underlying health conditions.”