The number of coronavirus cases linked to an outbreak in Aberdeen which led to lockdown restrictions being reintroduced in the city has risen by 25 in the past day, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister said 79 confirmed cases have now been identified and a further 30 are under investigation as being potentially connected to the 32 venues announced by the Scottish Government as possibly linked to the outbreak.
A total of 233 contacts have been traced, and Ms Sturgeon warned she expects a further rise in infection numbers on Friday.
More than half of the 67 new cases across Scotland in the past 24 hours were in the Grampian health board area, at 39, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Government’s regular coronavirus briefing.
She added that 17 new cases in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are being examined to see if there are any visible patterns.
The new cases take the Scottish total to 18,847 and mark the highest single day rise for more than two months.
But Ms Sturgeon said there have now been no deaths reported of people who tested positive for the virus for three weeks, with the total remaining at 2,491.
The Aberdeen outbreak was first revealed on Sunday, linked to the Hawthorn Bar on Holburn Street, with a list of other pubs and bars potentially involved published on Wednesday.
New lockdown measures came into force at 5pm on Wednesday, forcing all pubs, bars and restaurants in the Aberdeen City Council area to again close their doors.
The First Minister said: “If you have been to any of these premises, even if Test and Protect hasn’t been in touch with you, we’re still asking you to be extra vigilant for symptoms.”
Further restrictions mean residents cannot visit each other’s homes – outside of extended household groups – and they cannot travel further than five miles for leisure.
Ms Sturgeon said people in the city council area should not go on holiday and people outside the area should not travel there – including people who live in Aberdeenshire, except those who need to travel for work.
She also urged people contacted by the Test and Protect teams, in Aberdeen or anywhere else in Scotland, to comply with the advice they are given.
She concluded by thanking the people of Aberdeen for their co-operation, adding: “I know that this is a real blow to the city and all of us regret that we’ve had to take this position, but I do believe that people understand why it is necessary.
“There are just too many uncertainties about this outbreak right now so we are not yet confident that we can keep it under control without these additional measures.”
Ms Sturgeon said the reproduction rate of the virus has risen to between 0.6 and one, compared to the most recent estimate of between 0.6 and 0.9.
However, she said that as the number of cases drop, the reproduction number becomes less reliable.
As of last week, some 275 people in Scotland were infectious, she added.
On Thursday, 270 people were in hospital with confirmed Covid-19, the First Minister said, up by three in 24 hours. Of these, four were in intensive care – an increase of one.