The First Minister said she was ‘very encouraged’ by a fall in case numbers in Scotland.
However she added there is no room for complacency as the number of people in hospital and intensive care remains high.
Other key issues such as vaccine passports for large events and nightclubs were also included in today’s announcement as well as an update to international travel and the tests required for arrivals in Scotland.
Here is a breakdown of the key updates from the First Minister’s announcement.
Today’s figures as Sturgeon warns against complacency
In the last 24-hour period a total of 2,870 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Scotland.
An additional 18 deaths were also recorded with 1,107 people in Scotland currently battling the virus. There are a total of 94 people in intensive care.
Despite a drop in case numbers, the First Minister has warned about complacency as hospital and intensive care numbers have soared.
On August 20, there were 312 people in hospital and 34 in intensive care, compared to the 1,1107 in hospital and 94 in ICU announced today.
In terms of vaccination, a total of 4,160,835 people in Scotland have received their first dose, with 3,813,547 being doubled jabbed.
The First Minister said: “The NHS is already under considerable pressure. As I’ve indicated many times before, vaccination has weakened the link between new cases and serious harm to health – but it has not broken that link, here or in any country.”
Vaccine passport ‘Spot Checks’ for football fans
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that football clubs will not be expected to check every supporter’s vaccine status upon entrance to stadiums on match days.
It comes as the First Minister announced that large outdoor events – such as music festivals and sport matched – will instead be allowed to carry out spot checks as opposed to whole crowd vaccine passport checks.
Football clubs had previously warned against asking every fan to show their vaccine passports. Bosses were concerned about the huge queues that checks would cause on match days.
What defines a ‘nightclub’?
The First Minister announced what the Scottish Government classes as a nightclub.
This comes as vaccine passport plans are set to come into force to allow Scots to continue enjoying busy nightlife venues.
According to Nicola Sturgeon, a nightclub is defined as a venue open between midnight and 5 m, serving alcohol after midngiht, providing live or recorded music for dancing as well as having a dance floor that is in use.
It was added that nightlife businesses will be asked to “take all reasonable measures” to ensure they are checking the vaccine status of visitors and customers. This requirement will come into effect from 5am on October 1.
International travel and PCR test requirements
Changes to travel rules were announced by the UK Government last week and are due to take effect from October 4.
The First Minister said today that she has “real concerns” about the travel rule changes, especially in terms of testing requirements for international arrivals.
The Scottish Government is still to make a decision on the requirement of testing both before and after international travel.
The importance of testing to stop new variants entering Scotland was a key concern stressed by the First Minister.
She said: “We still need to guard against new variants of the virus being imported into the country – and also have a way of identifying quickly if a new variant does enter the country. “
Scotland is being urged to follow UK Government rules, meaning fully vaccinated travellers would no longer need to take a PCR test when returning from overseas.
From the end of October, double-jabbed travellers in England will only have to take a lateral flow test two days after arrival.
Sturgeon has faced growing backlash over her plans to keep the PCR test requirements in Scotland. PCR testing is much more expensive and lateral flow requirements would make it much cheaper for Scots holidaymakers to travel.
The First Minister signalled that a decision on testing will be made “within the next couple of days”.
Vaccination for 12 to 15-year-olds
The First Minister has again urged 12 to 15-year-olds to get their first dose of the covid jab.
Children over 12 have been able to get their jab since yesterday. Teens do not need to wait for a letter, they can visit drop-in centres for their jab.
According to the Scottish Government, everyone in this age group will be invited for vaccination at a community-based clinic or a school delivery session from September 27.
Nicola Sturgeon today said: “I would again encourage all 12 to 15-year-olds, and parents or carers, to read the information about vaccination that is available so that an informed decision can be made about getting the vaccine.
“Also, any questions or concerns can. beraised and addressed with vaccinators when attending appointments.”
Vaccinations on the rise
A total of 96% of people aged 40 and over, 74% of 30 to 39 year-olds; and 62% of 18 to 27 year-olds in Scotland have now had both doses of the vaccine.
That is more than three-quarters of all in the 18-27 age bracket have had their first dose.
Additionally, 70% of 16 and 17-year-olds have now had one vaccine, which is 5 per cent higher than last week’s figure.
With vaccinations now being offered to 12 to 15 year-olds – as well as third dose booster jabs beginning – Scotland’s vaccination programme continues to succeed.
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