FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon is asking people to reduce their socialising over the Hogmanay/New Year period as much as they can in a bid to help reduce the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Her New Year message comes as Scotland reports almost 12,000 new cases today (Friday), 15 of these in Shetland.
Despite rising numbers locally, Shetland continues to have a significantly lower average infection rate than other NHS board areas in Scotland.
Vaccinations clinics at Gilbertson Park were held until yesterday and will re-open again on Wednesday 5 January 2022.
Interim director of public health Dr Susan Laidlaw confirmed that there were no large outbreaks in Shetland as many of the latest cases were spread within families and across households.
Dr Laidlaw added that 86.5 per cent of the local population over the age of 18 have had their booster jab.
In her message for 2022, Sturgeon acknowledged the progress that has been made in getting the pandemic under control.
“But of course it also makes it all the more cruel that now – so late on in the year – we are facing a new challenge,” she added.
“The Omicron variant is a very significant threat. It means that at the moment, we need above all to keep each other safe.
“We all need to stay at home, far more than we would want to at this time of year. And we have asked that you minimise new year socialising as much as you can.”
Adding a word of optimism for 2022 she expressed the hope that with the continuation of the booster programme Scotland could get back to “greater normality”.
“As we come through this pandemic, there will still, I am sure, be setbacks.
“But as we look back on the challenges we have faced this year, I believe we can also look forward to a much better and brighter new year ahead.
“So as you see in the bells, I want to take the opportunity to wish all of you a good Hogmanay. And to everyone, whether you’re in Scotland or further afield, let me wish all of you, a very happy, healthy and peaceful new year.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers – national and local – struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 520 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: –
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.