Stricter lockdown restrictions prohibiting household visits in the west of Scotland will continue for another week, the Scottish Government has announced.
The measures on meetings in indoor household settings will remain in place across seven regions until the next review on Tuesday, September 22 after being recommended by the National Incident Management Team chaired by Public Health Scotland.
Originally the tougher restrictions were put in place in the Glasgow City Council area as well as West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in west central Scotland meant they were later extended to Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and North and South Lanarkshire.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “clearly regrettable that these restrictions need to continue”.
She added: “I understand that this will not be welcome news for people living in these areas but given the continued worrying increase in cases we continue to see, we must act to get more control over the virus in these areas.
“But while cases remain on the rise, early indications show these measures are working.
“I would ask everyone in the affected areas to continue being extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if they have any symptoms. Do not lose ground now.
“Above all, I want to emphasise that getting a test – and even getting a negative result – is not a substitute for self-isolating. If you have symptoms, or if you are contacted by our Test and Protect team and told to do so, you will need to self-isolate.
“Over 900,000 people have already downloaded the Protect Scotland app, which is a really important way to support Test and Protect and also to keep our communities safe.
“In the face of Covid, we can all feel a bit powerless but, if you have the means, using the app is a way of doing something positive that helps the collective effort.”
Earlier on Monday, Sturgeon said she did “not want to raise anybody’s hopes” that the ban on people going into the homes of others was going to be lifted.
She warned the incubation period for coronavirus meant it could take a “three or four-week period” for such measures to have an impact on case numbers.
At the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith said: “What is coming through from the data we have been charting, particularly over the last week, is that there may begin to be a slowing down in the rise of cases, but it is still too early to tell whether these measures are having a full effect yet.
“You have got to remember the incubation cycle for this virus is up to 14 days and therefore it can be quite a significant length of time before you actually see the effects of any intervention starting to play through.”
He also said experts were still seeing the “strongest signal” that Covid-19 was being spread in “household and social settings”.