After two Covid updates last week, Nicola Sturgeon was back speaking in front of Parliament today for the first time since June following the summer recess. 

It offered the first minister an opportunity to update MSPs in person on the Covid situation in Scotland, where cases have been rising in recent weeks. 

Scotland moved beyond level 0 on August 9, which saw the country scrap most remaining restrictions on issues such as social distancing and hospitality. 

However, since this date cases have been rising to such an extent that Scotland has the two top regions for infection rate per 100,000 in Europe over the past 7-days, as according to the WHO. 

Rumours have been flying about how the government will tackle the surge in cases, but we received confirmation of the actual plan today during the first minister's speech. 

Here's 5 things we learned from Nicola Sturgeon's latest update in Parliament...

1. Vaccine certificates could be used in hospitality in response to high cases

Vaccine certificates could be used in certain hospitality settings including nightclubs, indoor live events with 500+ people unseated, outdoor live events with 4000+ people unseated, and any event with 10,000+ people.

This could be introduced from later this month once all adults have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, as proposed by the government. 

However, this will be subject to a debate and vote in Holyrood next week. 

Previously the Scottish government did not support the use of vaccine passports, with Nicola Sturgeon saying today: "The Scottish government has made it clear that we do not believe that vaccination certification should ever be a requirement for any key services or in settings where people have no choice over attendance – for example, public transport, education, access to medical services or shops.

"We continue to hold to that position.

"But we do consider that a limited use of vaccine certification could help to control the spread of the virus, as we head into the autumn and winter."

She added that the government was not currently proposing the use of the passports in all hospitality settings however the government would not rule this out if it was deemed necessary.

2. No restrictions reintroduced for now

Rumours reported on Tuesday suggested that ministers were considering reintroducing restrictions such as curfews on hospitality. 

However, this is not the case, with the first minister saying she hoped "we can turn the corner without having to re-impose any restrictions."

However, she added the next few days would be "crucial in our assessment."

3. Covid cases are still rising

Covid cases are continuing to rise in Scotland following the move beyond level 0 on August 9. 

This has been the case since most restrictions were eased, with more than 6,000 cases reported on numerous days.

Yesterday, 6,170 positive cases were reported, with case levels 80% higher this week than last week.  

Last week the first minister confirmed that around one third of positive cases were in those who had received both doses of the vaccine. 

Earlier on Wednesday, new research carried out by Public Health Scotland found that 1 in 20 school pupils tested positive for Covid after coming into contact with another postive child. 

The percentage of those testing positive after socialising with another child with Covid was higher in primary schools than in high schools, at 7.9% and 2.3% respectively. 

She said that the overall rise in cases could in part be due to the fact schools have been back for a number of weeks, which has not been the case in England and Wales, where schools are yet to go back and will do so in the coming days and weeks. 

4. Covid hospitalisations have risen

629 people are currently in hospital with Covid, including 59 people in intensive care. 

This is up on last weeks figures by over 100 patients. 

According to the first minister, only 2-3% of people who contract Covid now end up in hospital due to vaccinations, however she highlighted that 2-3% of 10,000 cases was still very high with the potential of overwhelming the NHS. 

5. Government encouraging businesses to tighten compliance with rules that remain in place

The first minister said the government and ministers had been working with businesses to ensure the rules that remain are being adhered to, such as wearing facemasks and encouraging home working where possible. 

Nicola Sturgeon also said they were working to improve ventilation in schools to help curb the spread of the virus in such settings.