Covid restrictions eased as number of patients in hospital hits new record high

The figures come as most of the remaining Covid rules in Scotland are scrapped.

21 March 2022

The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 has reached the highest it has ever been since the start of the pandemic as restrictions ease across the country.

A total of 2,128 people were in hospital with the virus on Sunday, a record high, according to the latest Scottish Government figures. Of those, 31 were in intensive care.

In the last 24 hours, 9,533 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, and no new deaths.

Scottish Government officials, however, warned this figure may be lower than normal given register offices are generally closed at weekends.

The latest figures come as most of the remaining Covid restrictions in Scotland have been dropped.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed last week that from Monday businesses such as bars and restaurants are no longer required to retain customer contact details.

The legal requirement for businesses, places of worship and others to “take reasonably practicable measures” set out in Scottish Government coronavirus guidance is also ending.

The move comes in the wake of figures from the Office for National Statistics showing levels of Covid infection in Scotland have hit another record high.

They have now risen for seven weeks in a row, with 376,300 people likely to have had the virus last week – or one in 14 – up from one in 18 people the previous week.

The surge in infections prompted the First Minister to row back on plans to scrap the legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport and other indoor settings.

This had been due to be converted to guidance – with the situation to be reviewed early in April.

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