THE SECOND in command of Edinburgh City Council has called on the Scottish Government to treat the captial differently and relax Covid restrictions to allow the city's economy to begin restarting at pace.

Edinburgh is currently in tier three of the Scottish Government's five levels of restrictions - but has seen case numbers plateau.

But it is not thought that ministers will move the city into tier two when it reviews the levels today. Instead, it is thought Edinburgh could be moved at the next review date, assuming the numbers continue to move in the right direction.

Depute council leader, Cammy Day, said the Scottish Government "needs to have a serious look at Edinburgh".

The Labour councillor added: "Any tourism revival for Scotland will predominantly be in Edinburgh and this is not putting us in a great position.

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"Remaining in tier three is questionable. If the figures have not increased, we should have taken the opportunity to move maybe not to a full tier two, but tailor it to Edinburgh's unique needs where we could at least have businesses opened with reduced hours rather than being closed all evening."

He said: "They have taken a blinkered view of Edinburgh. I only hope that Edinburgh can get back into tier two as a matter of urgency because people and businesses are really suffering."

A council insider said that the Scottish Government had already decided that Edinburgh will not be moved into tier two today but the next review later this month has been pencilled in for the capital having restrictions relaxed, depending on improving trends continuing.

When Nicola Sturgeon announced the levels that will apply to each tier earlier this month, she suggested Edinburgh could be moved into tier two soon. But yesterday the First Minister indicated that areas are unlikely to see restrictions be relaxed this time around.