Scotland’s coronavirus restriction levels to be reviewed

East Renfrewshire, which is currently in level two, overtook Glasgow on Thursday as Scotland’s Covid hotspot.

Scotland’s coronavirus restriction levels to be reviewed iStock

A decision on whether coronavirus restriction levels in Glasgow, Moray and East Renfrewshire will change is expected later on Friday.

While the majority of mainland Scotland moved to level two of the Scottish Government’s five-tier Covid-alert system on Monday, Glasgow and Moray were kept in level three in response to rising case numbers.

East Renfrewshire, which is currently in level two, overtook Glasgow on Thursday as Scotland’s Covid hotspot.

According to the latest figures, the region has risen to 118.3 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to May 17.

Glasgow recorded 112.1 cases per 100,000 people, while case rates fell in Moray to 36.5 per 100,000 people.

The Indian variant has been detected in cases in Glasgow, causing increased concern among public health advisers and the Scottish Government.

In the fight to stem the spread of the deadly virus, Glasgow Central Mosque is currently operating 12 hours a day as a vaccination centre to inoculate younger adults within Covid hotspots in the southside of the city.

A number of other measures have been taken, including encouraging senior school pupils to study at home ahead of their assessments. It is hoped the move will reduce the number of people in schools while there’s an increase in community cases, which may help to lower the risk of pupils becoming infected or being identified as close contacts.

In Moray, a surge of testing was brought in as NHS Grampian’s vaccination rollout was widened to include those aged 18-39.

Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, a research fellow in the department of infection and immunity at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, said that putting East Renfrewshire back into level three would “certainly slow down the outbreak quicker”.

She told Good Morning Scotland on Thursday: “It’s a very difficult decision at the moment and, we can probably compare this to Bolton down in England, where cases are now at 300 per 100,000, so they are about three times without measures in place.

“So, clearly, it means the outbreak in Glasgow is slowing down faster in that level three, and surge testing does work in slowing down that really big moving lorry a bit quicker, and that’s pretty much what we have to think about.”

She added: “It’s possible it’s going to go into level three, East Renfrewshire, it’s also very likely Moray is actually going down to level two on the other hand, so that tells us surge testing does work and we can get these outbreaks under control easier than we were able to last year.”