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- 5th First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party
Scotland has recorded its highest test positivity rate since January this year, with 6,734 new coronavirus cases counted in the last 24 hours.
In Monday’s figures, the test positivity rate stood at 15.2%, up from 13.9% on Sunday.
The case numbers are also the highest daily figure recorded since September this year.
The latest data, released by the Scottish Government, shows no new deaths have been recorded since the day before, but officials said registry offices were generally closed at weekends, which can affect the number recorded.
It means the Covid-19 death toll in Scotland under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains 9,781.
3,839,679 people in Scotland have been tested for #coronavirus
The total confirmed as positive has risen by 6,734* to 806,695 The number of deaths of people who tested positive remains at 9,781Latest update ➡️ https://t.co/bZPbrCoQuxHealth advice ➡️ https://t.co/l7rqArB6Qu pic.twitter.com/vJB9Oapf5O
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) December 20, 2021
There were 516 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 on Sunday, up 12 on the day before, and a total of 38 people were in intensive care, the same figure as the day before.
So far, 4,372,129 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 3,993,642 have received their second dose, and 2,561,480 have received a third dose or booster.
In a statement issued on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon suggested there will be no changes to coronavirus measures in Scotland before Christmas.
She said: “The Cabinet will discuss tomorrow and I will set out in parliament if there are any additional or wider steps are necessary, but I want to be clear to individuals that the advice I gave out last week, is the advice that will take us through Christmas.”
The First Minister added: “My clear message to individuals is to reiterate the message I gave last week and that is, in the run up to Christmas, please reduce your contacts, stay at home as much as is feasible right now.
“For Christmas Day and Boxing Day, we’re not asking people to cancel plans but think about keeping them as small as your family circumstances allow and make sure everyone is testing before going, and following rules around hygiene and ventilation.
“Then after Christmas, for a period, limit your contacts again, so we can suppress infection as much as we possibly can, as we speed up the vaccination programme.”
On Sunday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the amount of UK Government funding Scotland would receive to tackle Covid had been doubled to £440 million.
The announcement was made during a meeting with the devolved administrations over the weekend.
The UK Government said the additional amounts were being provided to each government on top of their autumn Budget 2021.
Nicola Sturgeon and the First Ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland had ramped up their demand for more financial support in the face of rising Omicron cases.
On Sunday, however, Ms Sturgeon said she was checking whether the UK Government funding was “additional”.
Last week, when the UK Treasury announced £220 million of funding for Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said the money was cash “being brought forward from money we were expecting in January and had already budgeted for”.
She said that “to the extent it is new/additional”, the Scottish Government will make sure it goes in full to helping business and the overall Covid effort.
In total, the UK Government said it had doubled the amount of additional funding available for the devolved governments from £430 million to £860 million, with £270 million going to the Welsh Government and £150 million to the Northern Ireland Executive.