Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3 as the rest of Scotland moves to Level 2, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Initially, both areas will remain at Level 3 for a week, with a further decision made at the end of next week.
The situation in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon said, is causing even more concern than Moray, with initial research suggesting the outbreak could be being driven by the Indian variant of the virus.
She announced: “A very significant factor in Glasgow is evidence suggesting that the outbreak, which is heavily centred at the moment in the south side of the city, is being driven by so-called Indian variant.”
She said the “difficult” decision to retain the existing regulations in Glasgow came after a rise in cases in the city.
Covid in numbers:
The Government said a further 17 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, bringing the UK total to 127,668.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 152,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The Government also said that, as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 2,193 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
It brings the total to 4,446,824.
Government data up to May 13 shows that of the 55,434,965 jabs given in the UK so far, 36,115,955 were first doses – a rise of 209,284 on the previous day.
Some 19,319,010 were second doses, an increase of 428,041.
It was previously warned that Moray was likely to remain in Level 3 following a spike in Covid numbers.
The rest of mainland Scotland will drop down to Level 2 next week, and most island communities will be placed in Level 1.
Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that “pressing pause” would ensure that coronavirus measures would not have to be reimposed at a later date.
She added: “I know how disappointing this will be, but pressing pause for a few days will hopefully avoid a situation in which we have to impose even more restrictive measures over the next few weeks.”
People are being advised not to travel in or out of the affected council areas, while the Ms Sturgeon added she was optimistic that increased testing and vaccination would help to curb the increased spread of the virus.
She also stressed that Scotland’s battle against coronavirus “remains good”.
She added: “It is inevitable that as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, we will hit bumps in the road, however, if we exercise suitable caution as we’re seeking to do today, then even though that is difficult, we are much more likely to stay on the right track overall.”
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