Nicola Sturgeon is due to give an update today on Covid and the spread of the omicron variant as opposition leaders call for changes on testing and self-isolation.

The First Minister will speak to a recalled meeting of the Scottish Parliament to give the latest data and update on any changes to the current restrictions.

Parliament was not due to return until next week but Sturgeon will address MSPs remotely and explain any new decisions taken.

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Before Christmas, the First Minister said the government would look at the data around reducing the isolation period and said it would do so if and when it was considered safe.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, said yesterday it was being “actively considered”.

Both Labour and the Conservatives in Scotland are seeking a decision on reducing the self-isolation period to allow people to go back to work as businesses and public services face a staffing crisis with people forced to stay at home for 10 days.

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In England, the time was cut to seven days if a person is showing a negative test.

Train and bus services have been reduced due to staff covid related absences and the NHS is struggling to cope due to staff being off.

Jackie Baillie, Labour’s Covid Recovery spokesperson said the virus is not leading to people in hospital and intensive care in the numbers previously feared.

Glasgow Times:

She said: “Cases have risen dramatically in the last week, but thankfully so far the rate of new hospitalisations and people with Omicron in ICU remains low.

“But despite this positive news, the picture for our public services and businesses remains bleak.

“The SNP must use this update to confirm whether they will change self-isolation requirements in line with the latest evidence, to stop staff absences piling yet more pressure on businesses and services this winter.”

The Conservatives want household contacts to be excused self-isolation if they test negative.

Glasgow Times:

Douglas Ross, Scottish Conservative leader, said: “Scotland has the strictest self-isolation rules anywhere in the United Kingdom. We understand the need for caution, but Nicola Sturgeon’s dithering and delaying is continuing to have a major impact on frontline services and the wider economy, due to the sheer numbers having to isolate.

“She must finally confirm in her latest update that the period of isolation will be cut to seven days, for those who have tested negative twice.”