The surge in coronavirus cases is partly linked to football fans watching the Euro 2020 tournament indoors, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.
A number of cases have also been linked to coaches transporting fans to London to watch Scotland play, Mr Yousaf added.
On Monday, the daily coronavirus figures showed 3,285 people had reported positive Covid-19 tests overnight, the highest number since the start of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, 3,118 cases and one death of a patient with the virus was recorded, bringing the total to number of fatalities to 7,713.
However, vaccination has weakened the link between cases and being taken to hospital.
Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Yousaf said the Government was being cautious, but ministers are not looking at introducing further restrictions in the worst-affected areas.
He said: “If we look at the data that’s presented, it’s very clear that it’s skewed disproportionately towards young males, those under 40.
“A number of people, public health experts and others, have commented that that association is probably as a result of greater indoor gathering which could be an effect relating to watching the Euros and football.”
Some of those fans would have travelled to London in coaches, he said, where there was little social distancing.
In one coach, 20 positive cases had been identified, he said.
Mr Yousaf added: “I think some of the positive cases are linked to watching football indoors.”
Asked if the Government should have done more to prevent fans travelling, he said: “We seem to get criticised regularly for putting in place travel restrictions.
“So I think one way or the other we would have been criticised for either doing too much or not doing enough.”
He said the Government had always urged people to exercise caution and arrangements were always under review.
Mr Yousaf was also asked about a report in The Herald newspaper which said worst-case scenario modelling for the Scottish Government predicted 100,000 cases per week by mid-July.
The Health Secretary said: “We wouldn’t expect to see those numbers and certainly we wouldn’t allow such a situation to arise.”
Vaccination is “our route out of this virus”, he said, and around 50% of 18-to-29-year-olds have currently received their first dose.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove also spoke to Good Morning Scotland about the UK Government’s way forward for the pandemic.
He said: “We’re going to have to live with Covid in the way that we live with flu, as a disease that is there that needs to be managed, and vaccination and effective public health measures are the way to go.”
He continued: “I think it’s everyone’s recognition that we’re going to have to live with Covid.
“You can’t have zero Covid. The only way in which you can eliminate the chance of getting the disease is by maintaining a level of lockdown that would be damaging to people’s social lives, damaging people’s mental health.”
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