FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there will be "no immediate change" to current Covid-19 restrictions. 

Sturgeon told MSPs in Holyrood this afternoon that the Cabinet had agreed to continue to enforce the restrictions currently in place. 

Scotland moved beyond level 0 rules on August 9, when physical distancing rules and the limits on gatherings were removed. 

However, face coverings still need to be worn in some public spaces and indoor hospitality, where businesses are still required to collect contact details of customers for Test and Protect. 

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It comes as the vaccine certification scheme was launched at the end of this week, where anyone over the age of 18 will have to show proof of two jabs before they are allowed into large events. 

The First Minister told MSPs: "That decision reflects, firstly, that the number of cases is continuing to fall and so our judgment is that there is no need to introduce any tighter restrictions; but, secondly, that the level of infection, though falling, remains relatively high and so we consider that it is prudent at this stage, as we approach winter, to keep in place the remaining mitigations, face coverings for example, for a further period."

Sturgeon added that in the last seven days, the number of Covid cases in Scotland reduced by more than a fifth, and cases are more than 60% lower than they were "at the peak of this latest wave of infection back in early September". 

She continued: "Although there are daily fluctuations, the trend in test positivity is also downwards – from a peak of more than 13% in late August to just over 8% now.

"Significantly and positively, the fall in cases continues to be apparent across all age groups.

The National:

The First Minister said that the cabinet had agreed current restrictions will remain in place

"The most significant decline this week, once again, has been amongst 15 to 24-year-olds.

"Cases in that age group have fallen by almost 40% in the last 7 days – and by more than 80% in the last 5 weeks.

"It is also worth highlighting that in the 0 to 14 year old age group – which currently accounts for almost 30% of all new cases - there has been a reduction of more than 1/5 in the last week, and of more than 1/2 in the last three weeks.

"That is important because although children are much less likely to fall seriously ill from Covid than older people, they can fall ill, and of course they can and do pass on the infection to others.

"So this reduction is positive - though we should guard against complacency."

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Sturgeon also warned that Scotland's position on Covid-19 “remains fragile and potentially very challenging” as winter approaches. 

The First Minister stressed the importance of ventilation, face coverings and physical distancing despite a recent fall in cases – warning that more indoor meetings could see more positive tests over the winter.

She said: “In short, it is vital that we all continue to be mindful of the virus and its likely presence around us as we go about our everyday lives – and in light of that, continue to behave in sensible ways that will reduce its ability to spread from person to person.

“If we all do this, we stand a much better chance of keeping the number of cases – and the associated pressure on the NHS – under control even as winter conditions kick in.”

The First Minister told MSPs that an average of 150 people per day were being admitted to hospital in the second week of September but this has fallen to fewer than 100.

The National:

The First Minister was giving her weekly Covid-19 update to Holyrood 

She said: “Given that cases are continuing to fall, 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.

“All of this is positive – and a source of great relief to all of us.

“That said, the number of people in hospital with Covid now is still higher than it was in late August.

“And the pressure on our NHS remains intense.”

The First Minister also said that an advisory group on education will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possible removal of face coverings in classrooms.