HOSTING the COP26 summit is a “huge honour for Scotland”, Nicola Sturgeon has said, while warning disruption to travel around the event is inevitable.

The First Minister spoke during a briefing in Glasgow ahead of the conference, which was also addressed by national clinical director Jason Leitch and Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone.

Sturgeon said: “For the next fortnight, Glasgow and Scotland will be at the centre of the world’s attention. Hosting this conference is a huge honour for Scotland – and it is also a major responsibility.”

She continued: “It is inevitable that such a major event will bring some disruption. That will be particularly true in the next few days as national leaders and heads of state – together with more than 20,000 delegates – come to Scotland from across the world.”

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She said tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday would be particularly busy while major demonstrations were planned for Friday and next Saturday.

Those coming to Glasgow for protests during the COP26 summit must show consideration to residents of the city, she emphasised.

Speaking during a briefing in Glasgow, she said: “I want to thank the organisers of these demonstrations – as well as a number of other activist groups – for the engagement they have had with the city and with the police, to ensure that their demonstrations take place safely and securely.”

She said that regardless of views on the summit, “progress will not be made if discussions are disrupted”.

Sturgeon continued: “More generally, and this of course applies to all protests, I would ask that people demonstrating show consideration for the city and people who live here.

“The people of Glasgow are opening their city up to the world at what is a difficult time for everybody around the world. I hope those who are travelling into the city, welcome though they are, recognise that.”

Those intent on causing violent disorder during the COP26 summit will be responded to “swiftly and robustly”, Police Scotland’s Chief Constable has said.

Livingstone said policing the international conference was one of the largest operations to have taken place anywhere in the UK.

Speaking alongside Sturgeon, he said: “We will protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest at COP26, balanced against the rights of the wider community.

“But to those intent on violent disorder and damage, to those who seek to disrupt the climate conference actually taking place, I have a clear message.

“We will respond swiftly and we will respond robustly.”

Sturgeon said yesterday that she can’t rule out the return of coronavirus curbs if there is a spike in cases after the summit.

However, the First Minister said a rise in infections was not inevitable and urged people to comply with all the mitigations currently in place in order to minimise the risk of rising transmission.

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“We don’t ever want to go back to the kind of restrictions we had or even to re-introduce any restrictions but you can never rule anything out in the kind of situation we are in just now,” she said. “But what we know for certain is that if we all behave the ways that are proven to stop transmission we have a better chance of avoiding that.”

Meanwhile, Scotland yesterday recorded 24 coronavirus deaths and 2732 new cases in the previous 24 hours, according to the latest data.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 9143.

There were 926 people in hospital on Thursday with recently confirmed Covid-19, down six on the day before, with 60 in intensive care, up two.

The statistics may have been affected by a data flow issue at the Glasgow Lighthouse Laboratory.