Six cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant have been identified in Scotland, the Scottish Government has announced.
Four of the Covid Omicron variant cases identified in Scotland are in the Lanarkshire area, with two in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
Public Health Scotland and local health protection teams are working together and contact tracing is being undertaken in order to establish the origin of the variant and any individuals they have come into contact with.
Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant. All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.
“This will help establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they have come into contact with in recent weeks.
“There is still much to learn about the Omicron variant. Questions remain about its severity, transmissibility and response to treatments or vaccines and scientists are working at pace to provide additional information.
“Until more is known we must be cautious and do everything we can to minimise the risk of spreading infection.”
This comes after the first two Omicron cases detected in the UK infections were identified in Nottingham and Essex.
A third Omicron case was found in the UK on Sunday (28 November) in a person with travel links to southern Africa who visited Westminster before leaving the country. It was thought the individual visited the wider borough and not Parliament.
Under emergency measures announced over the weekend, close contacts of positive Omicron cases have been ordered to isolate for 10 days even if they have been vaccinated against Covid.
The UK will also convene an urgent meeting of G7 health ministers on Monday (29 November) to discuss the Omicron variant first detected in South Africa, amid concerns it could spread rapidly and partially evade existing vaccines.