Nicola Sturgeon's weekly Covid updates to Parliament have become the norm in Scotland, offering a public an insight into the government's pandemic plans. 

This week proved no different, with the first minister once again highlighting how the government aims to manage Covid over the coming weeks. 

Covid cases in Scotland are declining after weeks of sustained high numbers following the relaxation of major restrictions on August 9. 

Schools returning soon after this date contributed to a spike in cases, according to the first minister, as well as the general lifting of restrictions. 

Today's update comes just days before the next major measure is introduced in Scotland: vaccine passports in certain settings. 

It's not the only changing rule incoming - the amber and green travel lists are to be abandoned next week, allowing vaccinated travellers from non-red listed countries to enter Scotland without providing evidence of a negative test.

Ahead of the release of the NHS Scotland Covid Status App on Thursday and the change in travel rules on Monday, here's what we learned from Nicola Sturgeon's Covid update today...

1. No more capacity limits on live events or stadiums

The capacity limits that are currently in place for live events and stadiums will be lifted as a result of the vaccination passports. 

The initiative, which comes into action from 5am on Friday October 1, will require proof of a negative test in four specific settings: 

  • nightclubs
  • indoor live events with 500+ people unseated
  • outdoor live events with 4000+ people unseated
  • any event with 10,000+ people

The NHS Scotland Covid Status app will be released on Thursday, and can be used as a vaccine passport in the required settings as well as for international travel where necessary. 

2. Those over 70 and on the highest risk list to be invited for booster this week

The first minister confirmed that the booster vaccine scheme is continuing to be rolled out, and that over-70s and those in the highest priority groups will be invited for their jab in the coming week. 

These individuals will be notified of their appointment by either their GP or by letter. 

3. Numbers in Scotland are down again

Cases in Scotland have been dropping dramatically over the past week after a long period where daily numbers frequently surpassed 6,000. 

Over the past 24-hours in Scotland, there have been 2,370 positive cases reported and 16 new reported deaths. 

She said that the number of deaths in recent days has demonstrated the levels of grief the virus can cause families. 

1,027 people are currently in hospital with Covid in Scotland, with 79 in intensive care.

Nicola Sturgeon once again shared her cautious optimism regarding the dropping figures, saying: "What is obviously positive is that this overall reduction in cases has happened without the need to reintroduce any lockdown restrictions - which of course all of us were, and are, very keen to avoid."

Once again, the first minister attributed a large proportion of this fall in numbers to an increase in immunity levels due to the jab, adding that vaccine uptake rates were "excpetionally high", with 84% of the over 16 population is now fully vaccinated. 

However, the Scottish government is keen to keep encourage those eligible for the vaccine the get the jab as we head into the winter months. 

4. 12-15 year olds are being invited by letter to receive vaccine

Nicola Sturgeon highlighted that children aged 12-15 are now receiving letters inviting them to get one dose of the Covid vaccine. 

This age group have been able to attend drop-in centres to get vaccinated over the past couple of weeks, however now everyone this age will be officially invited by letter to attend an appointment. 

Children and their parents must decide together about whether to get the vaccine, and once again, the first minister encouraged anyone with questions to attend a clinic where they can discuss any queries with a trained vaccinator. 

5. Advice on improved ventilation for businesses

After convening a group for recommendations on ventilation in businesses, the Scottish government will release £25 million of funding to help small and medium sized businesses to make indoor settings safer throughout the winter months by improving ventilation. 

The fund expects to start making payments in November, with eligibility criteria set out over the coming weeks. 

6. Still waiting for advice on post arrival testing for international travel

The Scottish government has confirmed it will align its travel advice with that of Westminster. 

UK wide advice is still to be released on the position of post arrival testing for people travelling to the UK from non-red listed countries, however this is expected in the coming days.