EDINBURGH and the Lothians remains “under review” over whether further restrictions will be imposed but extra measures have been ruled out for now by health officials.

Nicola Sturgeon announced that 267 people have tested positive for COvid-19 in Scotland in the past 24-hour period – including 53 in the NHS Lothian area.

Ms Sturgeon said that officials are keeping an eye on the case numbers in the Edinburgh area “very closely” but no extra restrictions, as have been rolled out in the Glasgow area, are deemed necessary so far.

She said: “The national incident management team that met yesterday that ultimately made the recommendation to continue the recommendations in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde areas looked closely at Lothian yesterday and decided not to recommend any additional restrictions.

“That remains under review.”

The First Minister stressed that unlike the Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire restrictions, that were put in place over people gathering in other people’s houses, there was no obvious explanation for rising cases in the Lothian area.

Ms Sturgeon added: “One of the reasons for that decision not to recommend additional restrictions at this stage is that unlike Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Lanarkshire, there wasn’t the sense there was a particular driver that necessitated particular restrictions at this stage.

“As with every aspect of Covid, this is a changing and changeable situation.”

Scotland’s national clinical director, Professor Jason Leith, stressed that although “Lothian is next in the league table” behind areas already facing tighter restrictions, “there is not theme coming through from Test and Protect that tells us to do anything more than what we have done across the whole country”.

He added: “Lothian is more restrictive than it was 10 days ago as is the whole country – the six, two rule is more restrictive than it was and we did that because of rising numbers across the whole nation.

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“We hope that that in place for a few weeks will allow those numbers to fall or at least not accelerate. We watch it very, very carefully.

“It is up to the people of Lothian to get those numbers down - their individual behaviours will do that. It’s not inevitable that a populous area goes next, that’s not how this virus works.

“It’s not necessarily that it comes in a wave across the central belt – that may be what happens but it’s not inevitable.”

The First Minister said that restrictions put in place in Glasgow, Dumbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Renrewshire appear to be working but have been extended to halt a rise in cases.

She said: "The good news is that the early indications suggest that the restrictions in place in Glasgow City, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire might be helping to slow down the increase in new cases so that at this stage is positive.

"But the number of new cases in these parts of Greater Glasgow and Clyde still remains high and is still increasing albeit we think at a slower rate than would have been the case without these restrictions being in place.”