LEVELS of Covid in Renfrewshire remain "quite stubborn" despite signs of decline across the Central Belt, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's weekly tiers review, the First Minister said there would be ongoing evaluation today to assess whether any local authorities currently in Levels 3 or 2 could be moved down a tier.

This will not apply to any of the council areas in Level 4 restrictions, which will remain in place until December 11.

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Ms Sturgeon said Renfrewshire in particular was still a cause for concern.

She said: "Countrywide we are seeing cases fall.

"In the stubbornly high Central Belt areas we are a bit more hopeful now.

"We are starting to see a decline in these areas. Renfrewshire perhaps is the area which still gives us the most cause for thinking it's quite stubborn.

"There are positive signs generally around the country.

"We will have pockets at any given time that we're looking a bit more carefully at, and we will want to see sustained positive trends in areas before we loosen restrictions.

"When we move an area down a band it's not a neutral act.

"Transmission is likely to increase again, so we need to make sure that an area can sustain that before doing it."



Public Health Scotland data currently shows that there were 215 cases per 100,000 population in Renfrewshire in the seven days to November 27 - nearly twice the Scotland average - with the prevalence falling by just 12 per cent over the previous two weeks, compared to a 23% reduction nationally.

In Glasgow, which previously had the highest virus rate in Scotland , prevalence has fallen 40% over the same period: from 280.8 per 100,000 on November 13, to 168.8 by November 27.

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That compares to a Scotland average of 110.5 cases per 100,000.

Glasgow and Renfrewshire are both in Level 4, along with East Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire, East and South Ayrshire, East and West Dunbartonshire, Stirling, and West Lothian.


HeraldScotland: Covid virus rates per 100,000 remain more than twice as high in Glasgow than EdinburghCovid virus rates per 100,000 remain more than twice as high in Glasgow than Edinburgh

Rates of Covid in Glasgow are still more than twice as high as Edinburgh, however, which had remained in Level 3 while Glasgow was escalated to Level 4.

The latest PHS data shows that prevalence in Edinbugh was 71.8 per 100,000 by November 27, down from 87.4 on November 13.

Its test positivity rate, which is now averaging 4.2%, is below the World Health Organisation's danger threshold and down from 5.1% two weeks ago.

Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, cautioned that the reduction in test positivity had been small.

He said Edinburgh's virus rates is "on a downward slope".

"But it's very, very slow and we should be cautious of overreacting," he added.