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Coronavirus / Remain cautious, get vaccinated and be tested, first minister says

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Scottish Government.

FIRST minister Nicola Sturgeon has encouraged everyone in Scotland to be “ultra careful” around Covid amid concern over the spread of the so-called Indian variant of the virus.

Speaking in a briefing on Friday, she also urged people to “get vaccinated as soon as you’re invited, and be tested”.

People with no symptoms can receive free lateral flow tests. More information is available here.

Sturgeon was speaking amid a rise in confirmed cases in certain areas of Scotland, such as Glasgow and East Renfrewshire.

She said the ‘Indian’ variant, which may be more easily spread than other variants, was evident in these spikes.

Sturgeon said it is likely the R, or reproduction, number is now above one.

While the progress of the vaccination programme gives continued optimism, with more information due in the near future on what post-level zero guidance may look like, the first minister encouraged people to stick to the rules.

Glasgow City will stay in level three for another week, while Moray will drop down to level two at midnight.

On Monday Shetland dropped to level one, relaxing restrictions in areas like household socialising and hospitality.

More than 90 per cent of adults in Shetland have had a first vaccine dose, while more than half have had a second dose.

NHS Shetland interim public health director Dr Susan Laidlaw, meanwhile, said people can now get evidence of their Covid vaccination status if required for travel abroad.

There is more information here. People can either request the certificate online, or by phoning 0808 196 8565 to get it sent by post.

People should only request a certificate if they are travelling abroad within the next 21 days and the country they are going to, or the travel operator, requires proof of vaccination in order to travel.

“At present, this is the only way to get a Covid vaccination certification,” Dr Laidlaw said. “Please do not ask your GP practice, the immunisation team or the health board.”