After Nicola Sturgeon’s tough Covid rules effectively banned fans from the games, anger boiled over in Scottish football matches. Mark Drakeford was also subject to backlash for opting for tougher restrictions within Wales.

A crowd of young supporters chanted ‘Sturgeon, get tae f***’ while others held a banner saying ‘open your homes for COP26, closed doors for fans, f*** SNP’ – a reference to the climate change conference which some have blamed for fuelling cases.

After several researches that suggested Omicron is less likely than other variants to cause serious illnesses, Ms Sturgeon & Mr Drakeford were accused of jumping on the new Omicron curbs.

Nicola Sturgeon

Mark Drakeford

Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford were charged with jumping to conclusions about Omicron curbs. However, several studies have shown that it’s less likely to result in serious illness.

They are quite different from the England approach, which Sajid Javid, Health Secretary of England, praised this morning’s’reassuring data’ and stated that there would not be any new restrictions in England for at least one week.

Ms Sturgeon has decided to limit outdoor Hogmanay events to 500 from December 27th. This effectively excludes outdoor Hogmanay parties. However, indoor Hogmanay festivities will remain at 100 standing and 200 seated.

The tables will only be served at pubs with one-metre distance between the groups. Nightclubs are closed. They will be in force for at most three weeks.

Liz Cameron, the chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce said that Ms. Sturgeon’s restrictions “will be another hammer blow to employers and Scotland’s economy”.

Dr Cameron stated that these restrictions would be devastating for businesses across Scotland. They have done everything to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

“Some sectors and businesses will see this update as the equivalent to receiving a lump coal in their Christmas stockings, adding on to the trade downturn they experienced during the critical run up the holiday period.”

Drakeford plans to bring back the “rule of 6”, two-meter social distancing rules for public places, and tables service at pubs only. Anyone caught working in the office ‘without a reasonable excuse’ could be fined £60.

A crowd of young supporters chanted 'Sturgeon, get tae f***' at a match in Scotland

A crowd of young supporters chanted ‘Sturgeon, get tae f***’ at a match in Scotland 

David Chapman (executive director, UKHospitality Cymru organization) stated the new curbs would ‘virtually shutter Wales’ events sector and put all other hospitality companies much further into subviable trading.

The Welsh Night Time Industries Association referred to the restrictions as “devastating blow”

The devolved nation’s approach was called into question today by a series of studies that suggested Omicron might be less likely to cause severe illness than the early versions.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, (UKHSA), Omicron is associated with a lower risk of hospitalization.

Early evidence suggests fewer infected people are needing hospital treatment – potentially around a two-thirds reduction.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the emerging findings on severity were 'encouraging' after No10 confirmed that there will be no more announcements on toughening rules until next week

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary to the Government said that new findings regarding severity are ‘encouraging’. No10 also confirmed that no further announcements will be made on tightening regulations until next week.

Research at Imperial College London has shown that Omicron can cause hospitalization in people who have never had their vaccines or been infected by Covid. Hospitalisation is up to 20 per cent less likely in the general population — including those who have been infected or vaccinated — and 45 per cent less likely for at least a night


This graph from the Scottish paper show the age distribution of cases of Omicron (left, as 'S Negative') compared to Delta (right, as 'S Positive'). It shows that children were most likely to test positive for Delta in Scotland whereas young adults are driving the country's Omicron wave

This graph is taken from the Scottish paper and shows how the Omicron case distribution compares to Delta. This graph shows how children in Scotland were more likely to be positive for Delta than young adults.

The above graphs show the rate of Omicron ¿ S gene negative ¿ and Delta ¿ S gene positive ¿ cases by vaccination status. This was unvaccinated (uv), one dose ofthe vaccine up to three weeks ago (v1_0:3), one dose more than four weeks ago (v1_4+), two doses of the vaccine up to a week ago (v2_0:1), two doses of the vaccine two to nine weeks ago (v2_2:9), two doses of the vaccine 10 to 14 weeks ago (v2_10:14), two doses ofthe vaccine 15 to 19 weeks ago (v2_15:19), two doses of the vaccine 20 to 24 weeks ago (v2_20:24) and two doses of the vaccine more than 25 weeks ago (v2_25+). The graph also includes three doses of the vaccine less than a week ago (v3_0), three doses with the third administered up to a week ago (v3_1) and three doses more than two weeks ago (v3_2+)

The above graphs show the rate of Omicron — S gene negative — and Delta — S gene positive — cases by vaccination status. The graph shows the following: unvaccinated, one dose of the vaccine no more than 3 weeks (v1_0_3), one dose less than 4 weeks (v1_4+), 2 doses Omicron — S gene negative (v2_0/1) and 2 doses vaccine no more than 10 weeks (v2_2/9). Two doses vaccine from 15 to 19 week ago (v2_15/19), 2 doses vaccine between 20 and 24 weeks (v2_20/24), 2 doses (v2_25+), and 1 to 25 weeks (v3_2_25 or more than 25% of the vaccination) This graph includes 3 doses less than one week ago (v3_0), 3 doses with the last administered more than a week (v3_1), and 3 doses greater than 2 weeks ago (v3_2+).

Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP and Minister for the Environment Andrew Bridgen stated that Omicron’s latest findings prove there’s no need to impose any additional restrictions.

Iain Duncan Smith, a former Conservative leader, said that lower severity had a ‘great bearing’ on the events.

MailOnline reported that it was becoming clear to him that those who claimed they wouldn’t add new restrictions would be proved wrong now.

“It is now that scientists must stop Project Fear.

Sir Iain stated that Johnson must come out to reassure the people that it is possible to continue relatively normal.

“The public must feel safe. They need to exercise caution. In crowded situations, wearing facemasks can be a smart thing to do. But that doesn’t make it any less dangerous than saying “stay away”, don’t visit family members, etc.

“The short answer is that we can just keep going.”

The national Covid incident director at Public Health Scotland Dr Jim McMenamin called the findings “qualified good news” but stressed that we shouldn’t be too optimistic.

He added: “The potential severe impact Omicron can have on a populace cannot be underestimated.

“Even though a lower proportion of the cases might eventually require treatment, it could still indicate a significant number of people with severe Covid infections which may lead to hospitalisation.”    

Which coronavirus rules apply to England, Scotland, and Wales? 

Boris Johnson (Mark Drakeford) and Nicola Sturgeon (Nicola Sturgeon), have each adopted different strategies to combat the coronavirus spreading over the next few weeks. 

The following table lists the guidelines and rules for each country. 


Welsh Government advised citizens to keep their Christmas contacts limited and told them that outdoor meetings are safer than those indoors. 

Drakeford unveiled today a series of measures to take effect on Boxing Day.

In most public places, a two-metre rule for social distancing will be in effect. The rule of six in restaurants and pubs will also apply. All hospitality venues will require that customers wear masks at all times except when they are seated. 

Hospitality outlets will need to take customer contact data and return to table service.   

The ban on large public events is effective immediately. It will apply to indoor and outdoor venues only. 

The new offense to prevent house parties will have a 30 person limit.       

Although the Welsh Government does not have any rules regarding families mixing, it is encouraging them to be more selective about who they invite to visit and take a lateral flow exam before doing so. 


While Ms. Sturgeon is not asking people to cancel Christmas plans this year, she has encouraged them to limit their contact information as best as possible.

Yesterday, she announced that new restrictions would be in place for Christmas Day. Large events will now have attendance caps for three weeks starting on Boxing Day. 

Indoor events that are seated indoors will have a maximum of 100 participants, while those that are seated indoors will only accommodate 200. Outdoor events can hold 500 people standing or seated.

This makes it possible to make sporting events and football matches virtually spectator-free. 

A table-service requirement is imposed at all venues that offer hospitality services starting on December 27. This will continue for a minimum of three weeks.   

The Scottish Government advises people from the same date to limit their social contact as much as they can.


Last night, Mr Johnson stated that there would be no additional restrictions in England from now until Christmas Day and gave permission for people to continue with their plans. 

He warned, however that Omicron is being tracked by the UK Government ‘hourly’ and was ready to take action if needed.