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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Covid in Scotland: The headlines

    View more on twitter
    • The health secretary will set out plans tomorrow to extend asymptomatic testing - with a student testing programme will get underway next week
    • A further 771 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 8.6% of those newly tested yesterday.
    • 41 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours following a positive Covid test, taking the total to 3,544 deaths in Scotland
    • The R number is thought to be between 0.8 and one

    That's all from us here on the live page today. Please take care and stay safe.

  2. 'We need to be prepared for more cases in January'

    Prof Linda Bauld

    Public health expert Professor Linda Bauld warns the rules are "complicated" and people will interpret them as they see fit.

    The Edinburgh University public health expert tells BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime: "So if it’s three households, does it matter if it is four?

    "And then the travel is potentially more concerning to me as people will be travelling from a high to low prevalence area and vice versa.

    "We’ve seen in other countries that opened up slightly for festival periods you do see cases go up afterwards and we need to be ready for that."

    Prof Bauld said people may inadvertently put older and more vulnerable relatives at risk.

    Quote Message: If people really throw caution to the wind then we need to be prepared for more cases in January and that may mean that some of the areas that have lower restrictions might have higher restrictions in January. from Prof Linda Bauld Public health expert at the University of Edinburgh
    Prof Linda BauldPublic health expert at the University of Edinburgh
  3. What is an extended household?

    In Scotland, an adult who lives alone, or only with children under the age of 18, can form an extended household with another household of any size.

    Two adults who are in a relationship but do not live together can also form an extended household, which would include any children with whom they live.

    Once an extended household has been created, those involved can meet outdoors or indoors, visit and stay at each other's homes, and do everything that people in other households do - without a need for physical distancing.

    However, people are not allowed to form more than one extended household. And if the arrangement comes to an end, those involved should not form a new extended household for at least 14 days.

    What are support bubbles and extended households?

    family
  4. Easing of restrictions will not extend to Hogmanay

    New Year

    However, the easing of restrictions will not extend to the New Year celebrations.

    Ms Sturgeon said: "I know New Year is special for people, perhaps slightly more so in Scotland than in other parts of the UK, but the virus is still there, it is still infectious and particularly with that hope of a vaccine on the horizon within perhaps a matter of weeks the last thing we want to do right now is set our progress back and negate all of these hard sacrifices we have made in the last eight months.”

  5. 'The virus is not going to be taking Christmas off'

    The first minister goes on to explain: “What this is designed to do is recognise over Christmas, there will be some people, because of personal circumstances feel the need to come together and we want to allow that. But just because this can be done it is not the case that people feel that they should do it if they don't have to.

    “We are asking people to keep well within these limits because there is a risk of households coming together.

    "Travel restrictions will be lifted to allow people, if they are coming to another part of the UK to visit families with the three household bubble.

    "The other point to make very clear is that this three household bubble is a fixed bubble for that five day period."

    “The virus is not going to be taking Christmas off so although we want to give a little bit of flexibility for Christmas we are still urging people to be very cautious and to use this flexibility responsibly and only if you think it is necessary."

  6. Sturgeon outlines details of four nations Christmas deal

    Nicola Sturgeon

    So a deal to allow families to meet over Christmas has been reached by the leaders of all four UK nations.

    Nicola Sturgeon explains: "Across the four nations we have agreed to allow a window over the festive period from 23 December to 27.

    “During that window it will be permissible for three households to come together but only inside a private dwelling or in a place of worship or outdoors."

  7. Covid in Scotland: The headlines

    • A deal to allow families to meet over Christmas has been reached by the leaders of all four UK nations
    • BBC Scotland's chief political correspondent Glenn Campbell says three households will be allowed to meet indoors over five days between 23-27 December
    • A source told the BBC that details on how Covid restrictions will be relaxed will be announced shortly
    Man in a mask in front of a Christmas tree
    • The health secretary will set out plans tomorrow to extend asymptomatic testing
    • The student testing programme will get underway next week
    • A further 771 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 8.6% of those newly tested yesterday.
    • 41 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours following a positive Covid test, taking the total to 3,544 deaths in Scotland
    • The R number is thought to be between 0.8 and one
  8. 'Three households can meet for five days' under Xmas deal

    Christmas

    Three households will be able to meet for five days from the 23 December to 27 December, says BBC Scotland chief political correspondent Glenn Campbell.

    He says they can meet in each other’s homes, at a place of worship and in an outdoor public space. These groupings must be “exclusive”, meaning you cannot get together with people from more than two other households.

    Can you book Christmas dinner with family or friends at a restaurant? Not necessarily, he says. People must comply with whatever the hospitality rules are place in their area under Scotland's levels system.

  9. Christmas deal: Analysis

    Nick Triggle

    Health Correspondent

    What to do about Christmas divides opinion.

    Increased mixing indoors will certainly mean there is greater transmission of the virus.

    But, as chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said on Monday, there is a balance to be struck between the harm the virus can cause and the societal and economic impacts of trying to control it.

    He called for a "public-spirited approach".

    By that he means adhering to the restrictions in the lead up to Christmas, being responsible with the opportunity the relaxation gives people and then immediately switching back to compliance.

    If that happens any impact could be minimised - and, of course, it will be up to individuals to decide just how much they mix within the rules.

    These are very fine judgement calls by ministers.

    They hope Christmas will provide respite and help steel the public for what is clearly going to be a long, hard winter.

    They also feel they have little choice, believing large numbers of people would ignore pleas not to mix and this way they can provide advice on how to enjoy Christmas as safely as possible.

    But there is also the risk by sanctioning it there will be more mixing than there would have otherwise been.

  10. 'It would be a tragedy if we started to see things climb again after Christmas'

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Sir Harry Burns is professor of global public health at the University of Strathclyde and a former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland.

    Sir Harry told Drivetime he hopes due attention is being given to the scientific data as it is important we stay sensible over this difficult period.

    He says we need to keep carefully distant and observe all the rules until there is widespread immunity due to vaccination.

    There are concerns about moving from a high risk area to a low risk area, Scotland's former CMO warns.

    He ponders if it is possibly worth the number of cases that might occur to make people emotionally better at Christmas, stressing the importance of striking the right balance.

    “There is no doubt that we are seeing encouraging signs with the lockdown we have at the moment, It would be a tragedy if we started to see things climb again after Christmas and New Year."

  11. BreakingCobra Christmas deal agreed BBC understands

    The BBC's deputy political editor Vikki Young says: "We know that the deal has been done with the four nations."

    The proposal to allow up to three households to meet indoors during a five day period - probably 23-27 December has not changed.

    The Cobra meeting was all about the definition of what constitutes a "household" in each nation, explains Ms Young.

    There will be "some slight differences around the edges" she says she has been told.

    In Wales and Scotland children are exempted from rules about households for example.

    More details are expected by 6pm this evening.

  12. Christmas agreement close with announcement expected shortly

    Christmas

    The four governments of the UK are close to an agreement on coronavirus arrangements for Christmas.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is taking part in a call with other devolved leaders and the UK minister Michael Gove.

    BBC Scotland's chief political correspondent Glenn Campbell told the BBC News Channel he understood the governments had agreed to allow up to three households to meet indoors during a five-day period from 23-27 December.

    He reported that it could be possible to stay overnight in another household. To make this possible some of the travel restrictions in the UK would need to be temporarily suspended.

    All four governments are expected to urge people to use this flexibility sparingly because public health officials are worried lots of Christmas get togethers could cause a January spike in Covid-19 cases.

    Announcements are expected after the Cobra meeting in the next hour or so.

    In advance of the Cobra meeting the four nations were roughly agreeable that there should be a temporary relaxation of the rules allowing a household to meet with two others.

    Ms Sturgeon said earlier that the precise definition of what constitutes a “household” might vary between nations.

  13. Covid in Scotland: The headlines

    • The four governments of the UK are close to an agreement on coronavirus arrangements for Christmas
    • Nicola Sturgeon is taking part in a call with other devolved leaders and the UK minister Michael Gove to finalise the details
    • BBC Scotland understands the governments have agreed to allow up to three households to meet indoors during a five day period, probably 23-27 December
    • Meanwhile Scotland's local Covid-19 alert levels are to remain unchanged
    Man in a mask in front of a Christmas tree
    • The health secretary will set out plans tomorrow to extend asymptomatic testing
    • The student testing programme will get underway next week
    • A further 771 people have tested positive for Covid-19, 8.6% of those newly tested yesterday.
    • 41 deaths have been registered in the past 24 hours following a positive Covid test, taking the total to 3,544 deaths in Scotland
    • The R number is thought to be between 0.8 and one
  14. UK leaders discuss easing of Covid rules at Christmas

    Xmas

    Plans to allow families to meet over Christmas are being discussed by the leaders of all four UK nations.

    The 16:00 GMT talks are examining how coronavirus restrictions can be relaxed over the festive period.

    The first ministers of Wales and Scotland both said they were hopeful a "common" framework could be agreed.

    BBC Scotland's chief political correspondent said three households could be allowed to meet indoors over five days between 23-27 December.

    Glenn Campbell added that the four nations were close to an agreement - with the leaders also considering the lifting of travel restrictions and rules on overnight stays.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed any changes would be "temporary" and "limited" and the Scottish government would "continue to ask people to err on the side of caution".

    She said that the "details" may differ "to reflect different circumstances in each nation", such as what the definition of a "household" might be.

    Read more here.

  15. Cobra Christmas meeting under way

    A meeting of the government's Cobra committee is discussing relaxing Covid restrictions across the UK for Christmas.

    BBC Scotland's chief political correspondent Glenn Campbell has shared what he hears is going to be announced.

    That is:

    • Up to three households to meet indoors during a five day period - probably 23-27 December
    • What constitutes a “household” may vary between nations
    • The temporary relaxation of will include lifting travel restrictions and allowing overnight stays