HOTEL owners elsewhere in Scotland have been "discouraged" from accepting bookings from Scots in level three coronavirus areas such as the Central Belt. 

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the travel advice is to stay within your local authority area if it has been placed in level three or four. 

It comes ahead of Scotland's new five-tier coronavirus system coming into force on Monday. 

It runs from "level zero", which is as close to normal as possible without an effective treatment or vaccine, to level four, which is closer to a full lockdown.

The Central Belt - including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire - will be joined by Dundee in level three.

This will see strict rules such as bars, restaurants and cafes being banned from selling alcohol and forced to close at 6pm. 

Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, Fife, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross and Angus will be in level two.

Meanwhile, Highland, Moray, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have been assessed as level one.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's coronavirus briefing, Mr Swinney said tourism groups have said hoteliers want to do the right thing. 

He said: "I suppose in that spirit, I would have to say to hoteliers to discourage them from accepting bookings from areas that are level three or likely to be level three. 

"I think I have to give that advice, because that would be the consistent point based on the travel advice that we're giving to level three residents, which is to say don't leave your local authority area if that's designated as level three. 

"I think that's the clarity that falls from the travel advice that we're giving."