First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has her weekly Covid update in the Scottish Parliament today. 

Last week, the First Minister announced the relaxation of working from home guidance which came into effect yesterday as well as a change in international travel rules. 

This week, the First Minister has confirmed that following the cabinet's three-week review, the current Covid measures will not change.

Here's what Nicola Sturgeon said during her Covid briefing today.

What did Nicola Sturgeon say today?

Masks in schools

The First Minister said her advisory sub-group on education met and considered the issue last week.

She told MSPs: “It concluded that although we may be close to the time when face coverings no longer need to be worn in the classroom assuming current trends continue, we have not yet reached that stage.

“No-one wants young people to have to wear face coverings in the classroom for a moment longer than necessary.

“But given the current uncertainty about infection trends in the immediate future, and the relatively high levels of Covid in the younger age groups, continued caution is prudent at this stage.”

BA.2 Sub-variant

The new sub-variant - BA.2 - has been identified and is currently being investigated.

The First Minister has said that BA2. is "not a cause for any alarm" and there is no need to make any change to the current measures at the moment.

There has been a total of 26 cases of the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron have been confirmed in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said, though this number is likely to be an underestimate.

The First Minister told MSPs: “Genomic sequencing is being used to investigate this further.

“So far, I can confirm that in Scotland, 26 cases of BA.2 have been confirmed through genomic sequencing but we expect this number to increase as more sequencing results are reported.

“And given that not all tests are genomically sequenced, it will be an underestimate of the presence of this sub-variant here.”

She said there was no evidence that BA.2 led to more serious illness or had a greater chance of escaping immunity, however it appeared to be able to “out-run” Omicron.


Flu vaccinations have now resumed for vulnerable groups. 

You should visit the NHS inform website to arrange to get your flu jab. 

Ms Sturgeon urged those who are eligible for their booster jab to get their vaccine. 

International travel

From February 11, vaccinated travellers, who are fully vaccinated or under 18, will no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid test and they will no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival until they've received a negative result.

Travellers in this group will still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving in the UK - which can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test from Sunday.

Anyone who tests positive on their lateral flow test will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.

The new measures apply across the UK after an agreement between the UK Government and the three devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Ms Sturgeon warned last week that travel restrictions could be reintroduced in light of a new variant so this is constantly being monitored. 

See the full guidance via the Scottish Government website.

Latest Covid cases

The First Minister updated Parliament on the most recent Covid data, published at 2 pm.

Updating MSPs in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, she said the baseline Covid measures would remain in place for at least another three weeks.

The First Minister said: “The most recent data continues to give grounds for optimism, the situation we are in now is much less severe than we had thought it might be.

“That said, case numbers remain high.”

Ms Sturgeon said cases had risen slightly this week compared to last week, up by 2%.

7,565 new cases of COVID-19 were reported and there were 30 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive.

Both intensive care and hospital occupancy are down with 29 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19 and 1,177 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19.

4,416,119 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 4,129,347 have received their second dose, and 3,299,180 have received a third dose or booster.

See the full breakdown of the daily data for Scotland via the Scottish Government website.