NICOLA Sturgeon has urged Scots to "keep the heid" as pubs and restaurants prepare to reopen indoor areas from tomorrow.

The First Minister said she didn't want to be a "big wet blanket" but urged people to stick to the rules to avoid the virus flaring up again.

Hospitality businesses can open their doors tomorrow for the first time in almost four months. 

Physical distancing measures have been reduced to one metre in pubs and restaurants but other safety measures will remain in force.

Ms Sturgeon said those who are not prepared to abide by public health advice are potentially putting lives at risk. 

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And she warned the Scottish Government will not shy away from implementing local lockdowns if the virus starts to flare up. 

Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing, she said: "I'd love to be at the stage where I could just say to people, 'Crowd into the pubs and don't worry about it'. 

"I'm not going to say that because I can't say that, and I wouldn't be doing the hospitality industry any favours. 

"They would all be closed down again sooner than we knew where we were. 

"What I'm saying to people is enjoy these freedoms that have been hard won over the past four months, but do it carefully. 

"And if you're not prepared to abide by the public health advice about how we do it carefully, then stay away because you're putting others at risk, and I'm afraid given what we're dealing with just now that includes putting people's lives potentially at risk."

Ms Sturgeon referenced moves in California to shut down pubs, restaurants and other facilities following a surge in the virus.

She said officials would look carefully at cases in Scotland and the "direction of travel". 

She said: "We want to avoid, if we possibly can, going into further lockdowns, certainly further blanket lockdowns, but we may have to take targeted, localised decisions to try to constrain any further spread.

"I won't take any of these decisions lightly, and the Scottish Government will not take a single one of these decisions lightly, but we won't shy away from doing what has to be done. 

"I don't want to see this virus take off again, because I know the toll that takes on lives and on health and on the economy

"So we will take whatever action is required."

The First Minister said everyone knows alcohol can lower inhibitions and change behaviour, adding: "We just have to think much, much more carefully now."

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She said: "I don't want to be the big wet blanket – there's a headline that I've written for somebody tomorrow – on people's summer enjoyment. 

"But much, much more the case, I don't want to be standing here in a month's time reading out horrific figures again on ICU cases and hospital admissions and deaths, and if we're not all really careful right now, that's exactly what I will be doing."

She added: "It's in everybody's interest that we just all keep the heid around this and do the right things."