CASES of the Omicron variant in Scotland have risen to 29, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

In a statement to the press this afternoon she said the infections are no longer linked to a single event, but to several events including a Steps concert at the Hydro on November 22 where six cases of the Covid variant had been identified.

“The number of Omicron cases now being reported in Scotland is rising, and cases are no longer all linked to a single event, but to several different sources including a Steps concert at the Hydro on 22 November," she said.

"This confirms our view that there is now community transmission of this variant within Scotland.

READ MORE: Omicron in Scotland: New data on Covid variant 'not encouraging'

"Given the nature of transmission we would expect to see cases rise - perhaps significantly - in the days ahead.

"However, health protection teams are continuing work through contact tracing, isolation and testing to slow the spread as far as possible while we learn more about the new variant’s impact. Ministers are also keeping the situation under daily review.”

The Scottish Government has not said whether the people identified as the six Omicron cases at the Steps concert had been vaccinated.

Under the current vaccine passport rules anyone over 18 attending an unseated indoor events with more than 500 people, even if some are seated, should have proof they have received two dose of the Covid vaccine. 

Venues are required to carry out spot checks on attendees.

The Scottish Government confirmed on Monday (November 29) the discovery of the first six cases of the Omicron variant in Scotland.

Four of the cases were said to be in the Lanarkshire area with two in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

READ MORE: Latest Omicron data 'not encouraging', Jason Leitch warns Scots

In its statement this afternoon the Scottish Govermment said there are currently six Omicron cases linked to the Steps concert on November 22. 

It explained that to date no cases have been linked to the concert on November 23. 

It added that the risk to those who attended the concert is low and those who may have come into contact with Omicron are being contacted. No-one from the concert needs to isolate, unless asked to by Test & Protect or if they develop symptoms, the government added.

Earlier today Professor Devi Sridhar, professor of global public health at Edinburgh University and an adviser on the pandemic to the Scottish Government, gave an update about the new variant.

She tweeted: "Omicron latest: Looks more transmissible than delta. Likely to become dominant strain.

"Can re-infect those who had delta recently. Can infect fully vaccinated. Unsure if vaccines protect against severe infection but likely. Priority: vaccinate & slow impact on NHS over winter."

Scientists do not yet know if the disease caused by Omicron is more severe than that caused by the Delta variant.

Sridhar continued: "No answers yet but please be kind and supportive to healthcare staff. They put themselves at risk each day to help others & have faced wave after wave after wave. Think about how things feel and look to them. They’re also human."

The development comes as Scotland's NHS continues on an emergency footing. The health service is facing a high number of new Covid cases, continued hospitalisations of patients with the disease and doctors and nurses trying to catch up with the treatment of non-Covid related illnesses paused earlier in the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation says it expects to find out more about the variant in the coming days as scientists publish initial studies.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman later added: “On Wednesday 8th December Public Health Scotland’s COVID Weekly Report for Scotland will begin to include more detail on Omicron cases in Scotland. 

"Over the coming weeks, as numbers allow, this will include more detail on cases by age, sex, vaccination status and hospital admission.”