- Nicola Sturgeon apologises for problems with the launch of the government's vaccine passport app
- Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross insists there are still people unable to use the new app
- Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar accuses the first minister of "making it up as she goes along"
- No change to the "limited" virus regulations that remain in place in Scotland. Face masks to remain in schools for now
- Covid cases are 60% down on the rates recorded in Scotland in early September
- Almost 1,000 people remain in hospital
BBC Scotland education correspondentCopyright: Getty Images
It’s almost the October holidays for many of Scotland’s pupils.
That was the next point when the first minister said she would look again at Covid mitigations in place in schools.
Secondary pupils are still wearing face-coverings, even while seated in classrooms.
Cases are falling in the younger age groups and fewer pupils are missing class because of isolations.
The group of scientists which advises the government on Covid in education settings is meeting today to look at all of this.
The risk, if they do relax the rules on things like masks in class, is that they could have to row back on them again if cases rise in winter.
We should get an update in the next few days.
BBC Scotland Health Correspondent
Since the middle of August around a quarter of people turning up at emergency departments waited longer than the target of four hours to be seen.
More people are stuck in hospital with a shortage of staff and appropriate social care in the community.
Thousands of operations are being cancelled as nursing staff are moved around to look after Covid patients, or take time off for isolation or sickness.
The latest performance figures only tell us what was happening as far as August, the data for next September is likely to be worse as hospitals started to see the effects of the summer surge in cases.
There is unprecedented demand on the whole system and it is not winter yet.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton says all confidence in the Covid vaccination status scheme "crumbled" with the "shambolic" failures of Thursday night.
He says he warned that the government's IT system would not be able to cope.
Ms Sturgeon says the two-week grace period would allow businesses to learn how to operate the system.
She says the public are pragmatic and understand we can't bury our head in the sand over the virus.
The first minister says most people accept the Covid vaccination status.
Mr Sarwar also says there are equality issues surrounding the app certification scheme, as it requires a passport or driving licence details which many Scots do not have. There also problems with digital exclusion.
And yet, Mr Sarwar says, COP26 delegates will not have to have full Covid certification when they arrive in Glasgow.
"First minister, you are making this up as you go along," Mr Sarwar says.
He says the FM must "change or ditch this system" while also focusing on opening more drop-in testing centres.
- Copyright: EWAN BOOTMAN/NURPHOTO/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also goes on the offensive over the Covid certification scheme, which he says is "utterly chaotic".
Mr Sarwar says businesses in the night-time industry have been left confused by the system and the speed of its implementation.
He says the problems are the consequence of an "arrogant government forcing through its ill-thought-through plans". despite concerns from the public, health experts and businesses.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross begins by saying it is "really encouraging" to see case numbers, hospital admissions and intensive care admissions falling.
But he says this positive route of travel "raises even more questions about the justification for the SNP's vaccine passport scheme, which he says has been "an utter shambles from day one".
Mr Ross asks the first minister if she really did not foresee the demand which led to serious problems with the app.
Ms Sturgeon defends the continued use of infection control measures, including the vaccine passport scheme, and says no country knows what pressure we are going to be under this winter.
Ms Sturgeon concludes her update by saying: "The position we are in now is much better than we had feared at this time last month."
She says cases have more than halved in the past four weeks and the number of people in hospital and ICU is also now starting to decline.
However as we head into autumn and then winter, we have no room for complacency, the first minister says.Quote Message: Cases are still high. Hundreds of people each week are still being admitted to hospital with Covid. Our NHS is still under pressure. And so we must maintain the progress of the last few weeks. from Nicola Sturgeon FM
Ms Sturgeon admits the app "didn't work as we intended it to". In response to criticism from Conservative leader Douglas Ross, she says the technical problems which saw thousands of people initially unable to download it were "deeply regrettable".
The FM says action was quickly taken to resolve the issue. As of 3 October, MS Sturgoen says almost 380,000 people in Scotland have now successfully downloaded it.
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Nicola Sturgeon confirms that the first two weeks of the Covid status scheme will be a "grace period" in relation to enforcement.
This will allow businesses and users to become accustomed to the new rules. she says.
However during this period she says businesses are expected to implement and test their approach to certification so that they are fully prepared by 18 October.
At that point, the regulations will become enforceable by local authority officers.
The first minister says no fans were turned away from football matches because of problems with the app and both Hearts and Rangers tested their certification arrangements.
They managed to check around 20% of their crowds, she says.
The first minister apologises for problems with the Covid certification scheme, which came into force at 05:00 on Friday.
She acknowledges problems with the app, which many found "extremely difficult" to use initially, and says it "caused extreme frustration for users".Quote Message: The problem was not with the app itself but with the NHS systems that it links to. Essentially the high level of demand after the launch of the app - combined with an error in one part of the NHS system - meant that information wasn’t being sent quickly enough from the NHS system to the app. from Nicola Sturgeon FM
Ms Sturgeon says improvements to remedy the problem were made to the NHS system on Friday evening and the initial backlog was cleared by Saturday lunchtime.
- Copyright: PA Media
Yesterday the arrangements for international travel changed in Scotland and across the UK.
The green and amber lists have now been merged so there is now just a high risk "red list" and all other countries.
Ms Sturgeon says it is important to note that despite a change of position on pre-departure testing, there is still a requirement for passengers to take a Covid test on the second day after their arrival in Scotland.
"We are working with the UK government on possible future changes to the position on post arrival testing," she says.
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Ms Sturgeon warns that the number of people in hospital with Covid now is still higher than it was in late August and the pressure on the NHS remains intense.
She says NHS staff continue to deal with the combined challenge of caring for significant numbers of Covid patients, preparing for wider winter pressures and dealing with the backlog of care built up during the pandemic.
The first minister says the overall position remains "fragile" and challenging, especially as we go into the winter.
The "significant and sustained" fall in cases over recent weeks is now feeding through into a drop in hospital admissions, the first minister says.
In the second week of September, an average of 150 people a day were being admitted to hospital with Covid.
That has now fallen to fewer than 100 people a day.
This has led to a fall in the overall number of Covid patients in hospital.Quote Message: We hope and expect that the number of people in hospital will decline further. We also expect that the number of people dying from Covid will reduce. from Nicola Sturgeon FM
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In the past seven days the number of cases of coronavirus has reduced by one-fifth, Ms Sturgeon says.
Cases are now more than 60% lower than they were at the peak of this latest wave of infection back in early September.
Test positivity rates are also down, she says.
The fall in cases is across all age groups and most significantly among 15-24 year olds.
The 0-14 year age group currently accounts for almost 30% of all new cases but this group has also seen a reduction.
Nicola Sturgeon begins her Covid update to parliament by giving the latest statistics on Covid cases and vaccinations.
She says the number of cases is continuing to fall in Scotland and there is no need to introduce any tighter restrictions.
But she says the level of infection does remain relatively high and so it is prudent to keep in place the remaining "mitigations" such as face coverings.
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As of 08:30 today, 4,223,719 people had received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, an increase of 5,779 since yesterday.
In addition, 3,849,656 have received their second dose, which is up 2,538 on Monday.
A further 2,056 people have tested positive for Covid-19, which is 10.3% of the tests carried out yesterday according to the latest data.
There are 998 people in hospital, which is down three.
There are 65 people in intensive care, down two from yesterday.
There have also been 21 more deaths registered in the past 24 hours of people who tested positive for coronavirus in the past 28 days.
- Copyright: BBC
Nicola Sturgeon is due to deliver the latest update on the pandemic in Scotland.
The first minister will make a statement to MSPs at Holyrood and then answer questions from the opposition.
Stay tuned for live updates from the chamber.