Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, has urged Scots to “be vigilant” as lockdown measures are reviewed.

The First Minister is holding a Covid briefing tomorrow to announce the “next easing of restrictions scheduled for May 17”.

The UK’s four chief medical officers have said the threat level should be lowered, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and social distancing restrictions.

The joint statement said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the UK chief medical officers and NHS England national medical director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 3.

“Thanks to the efforts of the UK public in social distancing and the impact we are starting to see from the vaccination programme, case numbers, deaths and Covid hospital pressures have fallen consistently.

READ MORECovid Vaccine: More than 90 per cent of over-65s in Scotland have had both doses

“However Covid is still circulating with people catching and spreading the virus every day so we all need to continue to be vigilant. This remains a major pandemic globally.

HeraldScotland: Smith warns Covid-19 remains a global pandemic. PA: CreditSmith warns Covid-19 remains a global pandemic. PA: Credit

“It is very important that we all continue to follow the guidance closely and everyone gets both doses of the vaccine when they are offered it.”

The Scottish Government has been gradually easing lockdown restrictions, with stay home rules lifted at the beginning of April.

From May 17 pubs can sell alcohol in doors and cinemas, theatres, comedy clubs, amusement arcades and bingo halls can open.

READ MORECoronavirus Scotland: 200 new Covid cases in 24 hours and no new deaths

Additionally, four people from two households will be able to socialise indoors in a private home.

Scotland has recorded 168 new cases of Covid in the past 24 hours, with 72 people in hospital yesterday after recently having tested positive for the virus.

Only one death has been recorded in the last week and the test positivity rate has consistently been recorded at slightly above or below one.

The coronavirus death toll, among those who tested positive in the previous 28 days, remains at 7661. However, registry offices are generally closed at weekends.

So far, 2,897,975 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 1,468,296 have received their second dose.

More than 90% of adults aged 65 and over in Scotland have now had both vaccines.

However, NHS Grampian has been battling an outbreak in Moray, by offering vaccinations to those aged 18-39 and increasing testing in an effort to control a rise in cases.