LiveNicola Sturgeon coronavirus briefing RECAP: Levels to change within hours as people use ‘vaccine calculator’ to find out where they are in the queue

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Nicola Sturgeon coronavirus briefing: Levels to change within hours as people use ‘vaccine calculator’ to find out where they are in the queue

Last updated: Friday, 18 December, 2020, 13:57

  • WHO warns against people gathering at Christmas as it’s ‘not worth the risk’
  • Scots told to ‘avoid Boxing Day sales’ 
  • A calculator has been created on Omnicalculator, which estimates when you might be offered a coronavirus jab


Scots reminded to avoid unnecessary travel at Christmas in reissued guidance

Scots have been warned not to travel at Christmas unless it is essential in a reissued plea from the Scottish Government to only take advantage of the relaxed Covid-19 restrictions if absolutely necessary.

In a renewed plea to the public, transport secretary Michael Matheson reiterated calls from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for people to stay at home if they can and to avoid travelling to visit family and friends.

The call comes alongside claims from the Scottish Government that 47 per cent of people in Scotland do not intend to travel at all over the Christmas period, with four in ten saying they have cancelled travel plans.

Read more here by Conor Matchett

Avoid Boxing Day sales, says Mr Leitch

When asked about Boxing Day sales Mr Leitch said advice remains the same, which is to avoid crowded places.

He said he’s aware it will be unpopular with retailers, but added “nothing in those sales is worth it”

Ms Freeman added: “If you see a crowded shop, don’t go in."

She added that the advice has not changed, it has always remained the same which is to avoid crowded places. 

Both Ms Freeman and Mr Leitch suggested online shopping as an alternative. 

MSP Miles Briggs comments on the extension of free hospital PFI car parking to March 2021

He said: “Staff and patients at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary will be pleased that free parking at the hospital has been extended, but disappointed that no long term solution has been reached.

“SNP Ministers seem to be just kicking the can along the road when we desperately need to see the leadership to deliver a long-term solution.

“NHS Lothian staff go above and beyond every day to care for patients and the least they deserve is not having to pay for expensive parking to get to work.”

Long-Covid advice available

Jason Leitch discusses new guidelines published across the UK on 'long-Covid which gives a formal definition of it, symptoms and how best to care for people living with it. He said he thinks the treatment will be 'holistic' for the time being.

He confirmed funding is going into research projects on the condition. 

Jason Leitch says hospitals are ‘coping well’ but the situation remains ‘fragile’

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch says hospitals are coping well but that the situation is 'fragile' in this first coronavirus winter.

Pressure on hospitals in Lanarkshire and Glasgow has fallen thanks to restrictions and behaviour of population there in recent weeks.

He said with the rise in numbers in the Lothians and Borders, the NHS is seeing an impact on hospitals in those areas.

East Lothian to move into Level 3 tonight as well as Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire

Ms Freeman confirms testing capacity has grown with the opening of two new centres this week

This week saw the opening of two additional walk-through testing centres. One of those opened in Kilmarnock on Wednesday and the other opened yesterday in Oban," she confirmed. 

JF: "These two new centres add to the 20 others we've established across the country and mean we've now met our target of having 22 walk-through centres in place for the winter period."

Parking charges will be extended at three major Scottish hospitals until March 2021, the health secretary confirms

JF: "My second update relates to an important measure that we put in place at the start of the pandemic in March. At that time we took steps to suspend car parking charges at three hospitals - Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

"In all three of these hospitals the car parks are privately owned as a consequence of PFI funding, so they were the only hospitals in Scotland where car parking charges still applied.

"Today I can confirm we've reached a further agreement with the private operators of these car parks, and as a result, the suspension of parking charges will be extended at all three hospitals until March 2021."

Update on quarantine list:

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirms latest changes to quarantine list - you will have to self isolate if arriving from Namibia, Uruguay and US Virgin Islands to Scotland from 4am tomorrow.

This will be the last review of the quarantine list this year.

Follow live briefing here:

Update on Scotland’s coronavirus cases:

744 new cases across Scotland in the last 24 hours bringing the total to 110,040

Of these new cases, 172 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and 158 in the Lothians. 

To date, 1,032 are being treated in hospital having tested positive for Covid-19 and 50 people are in intensive care. 

In the last 24 hours, the Scottish Government has recorded 36 new deaths. 

Scotland’s death toll currently stands at 4,239. 

Health Secretary due to give coronavirus update at 12.15pm this afternoon

Follow here for lives updates on the latest Covid-19 news 

A calculator has been created on Omnicalculator, which estimates when you might be offered a coronavirus jab

The unofficial device is based on the UK's current nine-point priority list for the vaccine, which is as follows:

Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

All those 75 years of age and over

All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

All those 65 years of age and over

All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

All those 60 years of age and over

All those 55 years of age and over

All those 50 years of age and over

The first phase of the vaccination programme is concentrated on saving lives and reducing hospital admissions, making it logical that the most vulnerable groups are being given it first.

How does the calculator work?

The calculator asks you a series of questions about your age, health conditions and other details - such as if you're pregnant or a care home worker. It then uses this information to calculate when you're most likely to receive the vaccine, based on the answers you've given.

The first coronavirus vaccine to be administered was in the UK - a world first - on 8 December 2020.

During the first week of vaccination, a total of 137,000 people were given jabs, with the majority of recipients being over-80s, care home workers and NHS staff.

For those in the lowest-priority groups, it could be a long wait for the vaccine, which has to be administered in two doses.

For younger people with no underlying health conditions, the calculator estimates vaccination dates as far in the future as September 2021.

Midlothian care home faces closure amid claims that a third of its residents have died

Scotland’s care watchdog has launched legal action against a nursing home in Loanhead after 'significant concerns' were identified during an inspection.

Read more here by Shona Elliott

Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City move up to level 3 from 6pm today

Here is a reminder of which level each council area is in: 

Aberdeen City  Level 2 - will move to Level 3 at 6pm on Friday 18 December.

Aberdeenshire Level 2 - will move to Level 3 at 6pm on Friday 18 December.

Angus Level 2

Argyll and Bute Level 2

Clackmannanshire Level 3

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Level 1

Dumfries and Galloway Level 1

Dundee City  Level 3

East Ayrshire Level 3

East Dunbartonshire Level 3

East Lothian Level 2 - will move to Level 3 at 6pm on Friday 18 December.

East Renfrewshire Level 3

Edinburgh (City of) Level 3

Falkirk Level 2

Fife Level 3

Glasgow City Level 3

Highland Level 1

Inverclyde Level 2

Midlothian Level 3

Moray Level 1

North Ayrshire Level 3

North Lanarkshire Level 3

Orkney Islands Level 1

Perth and Kinross Level 3

Renfrewshire Level 3

Scottish Borders Level 1

Shetland Islands Level 1

South Ayrshire Level 3

South Lanarkshire Level 3

Stirling Level 3

West Dunbartonshire Level 3

West Lothian Level 3 

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