Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said there was “significant community transmission” of coronavirus in Glasgow hotspots.

The city will remain under Level 3 of Scotland’s restrictions until at least June 5 and Mr Yousaf said urgent work was being carried out to understand the outbreak in south Glasgow and how the Indian variant arrived.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “In a few concentrated hotspots… we are seeing significant community transmission.

“The levels and the numbers of cases are continuing to rise.”

In other parts of the country “local health teams tell us they are relatively contained outbreaks” linked to either schools or domestic clusters, but that was not the case in Glasgow.

“What we are seeing is it’s coming in in areas where there is a large, diverse community so therefore there is a probability the variant has come in from international travel.

“Therefore we are trying to get to the bottom of how it managed to get in.”

A spike in coronavirus cases in Glasgow saw the city will remain under Level 3 restrictions until at least June 5, with Nicola Sturgeon announcing yesterday that caution was needed in the city. 

The First Minister said the R number – the average number of people each person with Covid-19 goes on the infect – could be as high as 1.3, although she added this could be influenced “quite significantly” by the rising cases in Glasgow.

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Yesterday she said:  “Given that Glasgow is in a different level right now, I think it would not be an unreasonable assumption that it might also have to be in Level 2 for a couple of weeks before it moves to Level 1.

“That’s an assumption at the moment, I will make these decisions on the basis of the up-to-date data.

“And of course the purpose of the levels system is that while yes, we want the country if possible all to be in the same level, it allows us to have that regional variation, so we’re not holding back the Highlands because Glasgow has an outbreak.

“I can’t rule out at any stage, particularly given we’re seeing some areas with higher levels than others right now, that there will be a variable decision on Tuesday.

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“But I really hope we will keep on the track that we set out. There is going to be bumps in the road, Glasgow is experiencing that right now, there may be other parts of the country experiencing that over weeks to come. That is in the nature of what we’re dealing with.

“But I hope and remain really optimistic that we will stay on that forward track overall as a country.”