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COVID-19: Glasgow and Moray to remain in Level 3 amid new cases linked to Indian variant

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Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3 amid concerns a new surge of COVID-19 cases in Scotland is being driven by the Indian variant of the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that these areas will remain at Level 3 of Scotland’s five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions for a week until a further decision is made at the end of next week.

She said the situation in Glasgow is causing even more concern than Moray, with initial research suggesting the outbreak could be being driven by the Indian variant.

It comes as the rest of Scotland drops to Level 2 restrictions on Monday, meaning cinemas, theatres, concert halls and stadiums can open across the rest of the nation but not in Glasgow and Moray.

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Some things you can do at Level 3:

  • meet in groups of up to six from two households in an indoor public place such as a cafe, pub or restaurant
  • you can meet in groups of up to six from six households outdoors, in a private garden or a public place like a park or an outdoor area of a cafe
  • under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside but do count towards the household numbers indoors
  • you can travel anywhere in Scotland and can stay in holiday accommodation – but you should not stay in someone else’s house
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At Level 2, you can meet socially in groups of up to:

  • six people from three households in your home or theirs – and can stay overnight
  • six people from three households in an indoor public place like a cafe, pub or restaurant
  • eight people from eight households outdoors

Glasgow has now overtaken Moray as Scotland’s coronavirus hotspot, with an epidemiologist warning the country is seeing a “loss of control” of the pandemic in some areas.

Figures published on Friday showed there were 80.4 cases per 100,000 people in Glasgow in the seven days to 11 May – surpassing Moray where there were 68.9.

Image:
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs at Holyrood that Glasgow and Moray will remain in Level 3

Moray experienced a rise in cases that started in April and it had the highest rate in Scotland in recent days.

The spike in infections in Glasgow could include the Indian B.1.617.2 variant, public health experts claim.

Epidemiologist Dr Deepti Gurdasani has warned it would be early to lift restrictions.

She also called for action to prevent the situation from worsening following concerns about the spread of one of the new Indian variants of the virus north of the border.

Dr Gurdasani told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “The idea is certainly premature, in fact the Government should be considering the opposite.

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“In Scotland as a whole we’ve actually seen the number of new cases double in the last week, and while the cases are so low it’s hard to see exponential rises.

“This is what early exponential rises look like and we’re seeing loss of control of the pandemic in many parts of Scotland, and the situation is likely much wider and other places will follow unless action is taken to actually prevent this and pre-empt this now.”

In the past 24 hours, Scotland has recorded two COVID deaths and a further 215 cases, according to the latest Scottish Government figures.

It brings the total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic to 7,664.

A total of 228,908 have tested positive for the virus and the daily test positivity rate is 1.3%, up from 1.2% the previous day.

Of the 215 new cases, 110 were in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area.

This was followed by 37 in NHS Lothian, 21 in NHS Lanarkshire, 16 in NHS Fife and 15 in NHS Grampian – which covers Moray.

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