Yesterday afternoon, Public Health Scotland (PHS) issued a press release asking people to defer Christmas parties for the time being, saying that a number of Omicron outbreaks have been linked to large gatherings.
Hospitality businesses across Scotland are understandably extremely frustrated following the mixed messages coming from officials regarding the festive season, particularly because recent guidance from Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch advised Scots to keep their Christmas party bookings as planned.
The latest announcement was followed by a statement from Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director, PHS said: “To help minimise the further spread of Covid-19, and Omicron in particular, I would strongly urge people to defer their Christmas parties to another time.”
The announcement was met with criticism from the Scottish Hospitality Group, which said it was a “grim dark day” for the sector in a tweet.
Businesses are suggesting that, if the science behind the decision has changed, then parties should “absolutely” be cancelled, but added that compensation for businesses impacted is essential.
Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is likely to hold a televised Covid briefing today announcing further details.