Holyrood has been recalled to discuss further measures due to “a rapid increase in Covid cases” causing “very serious concerns”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to meet her government on Monday morning after fears were raised about how rapidly the new strain of coronavirus is spreading.
The Cabinet is expected to discuss any additional measures that may be required to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, ahead of a debate in Parliament.
It comes as the whole of mainland Scotland is already under the toughest tier of restrictions.
1/5 The rapid increase in Covid cases, driven by the new variant, is of v serious concern. The steep increases & severe NHS pressure being experienced in other parts of the UK is a sign of what may lie ahead. So we must take all steps to slow spread while vaccination progresses
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) January 3, 2021
In a series of tweets, Ms Sturgeon said: “The rapid increase in Covid cases, driven by the new variant, is of very serious concern.
“The steep increases and severe NHS pressure being experienced in other parts of the UK is a sign of what may lie ahead. So we must take all steps to slow spread while vaccination progresses.
“We, like other countries, are in a race between this faster spreading strain of Covid and the vaccination programme.
“As we work to vaccinate as quickly as possible, we must also do more to slow down the virus – to save lives and help the NHS care for all those who need it.
“Following a meeting of the Scottish government resilience committee yesterday to assess latest situation, the Cabinet will meet tomorrow am to consider further action to limit spread and I’ve asked for Scottish Parliament to be recalled tomorrow afternoon so that I can set out our decisions in a statement.
“All decisions just now are tough, with tough impacts. Vaccines give us way out, but this new strain makes the period between now and then the most dangerous since start of pandemic.
“So the responsibility of government must be to act quickly and decisively in the national interest.”
.@ScotParl is being recalled tomorrow – Monday 4th Jan – at 2pm for a statement from the First Minister @NicolaSturgeon on #covid19 followed by questions. You can watch live on parliament tv at https://t.co/nNJQBwDJ6Z or over on our Facebook page at https://t.co/0EQO4SpFxUpic.twitter.com/8yPC33IXrM
— Scottish Parliament (@ScotParl) January 3, 2021
This is just the fifth time Parliament has been recalled and the second time within the last four weeks, after it sat on December 30 to consider the post-Brexit EU trade deal
Previously, it was convened after the deaths of Donald Dewar in October 2000 and the Queen Mother in April 2002.
It was also reconvened following the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, in 2009.