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First Minister’s COVID-19 Omicron Variant Briefing 10:30am 29/11/2021 - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

First Minister’s COVID-19 Omicron Variant Briefing 10:30am 29/11/2021

Changes to travel regulations are likely to mean those returning from anywhere abroad must take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative test. Those who have come into contact with the variant will also have to isolate for 10 days again, even if they have been double-jabbed.

First Minister’s COVID-19 Omicron Variant Briefing 10:30am 29/11/2021

- FM confirms the overall Covid situation in Scotland is stable with cases declining slightly.

- Omicron situation is concerning and SG await further analysis.

- Early indications from South Africa suggest it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant.

- WHO says preliminary evidence shows there may be evidence Omicron may have an increased risk of reinfection.

- currently no information that the symptoms are any different or that the disease caused by the variant is more severe.

- COVID-19 Surveillance has been stepped up in recent days by public health teams to help detect cases of the variant quickly.

- Contact tracing is ongoing for the six people who have tested positive for the Omicron variant, but not all have any recent travel history or links with others who have travelled to countries in southern Africa, where the variant was first detected last week.

- FM requests public "step up" their baseline mitigations - face masks, sanitising, testing with lateral flow devises and asks for testing before mixing socially with other households.

- Stresses that this is a “fast moving” situation and prevention is the necessary approach until more is known about Omicron.

International Travel

- Scotland will link in with England’s new travel restrictions, however, calls for stricter restrictions to be introduced on a four nations basis.

- FM has written to Boris Johnson alongside the Welsh FM - calling for tighter travel restrictions following spread of omicron variant.

- SG want people arriving from overseas to self-isolate for 8 days - with PCR tests on day 2 and 8.

Business Support

- Scottish and Welsh governments have asked for guarantees of UK Gov funding should support for businesses be needed at some point in near future.

Home Working

- The FM encouraged people to work from home if possible and asks “employers to maximise the potential for home working.”

Update from WHO: https://www.who.int/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron

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