Glasgow is to move to Level 2 from midnight on Friday ending nine months of the city having the toughest Covid measures in Scotland.

Case numbers have dropped from 146 per 100,000 people to 129, which the First Minister said provides evidence that public health measures including an acceleration of vaccinations  are having an impact.

While hospital admissions are rising, they are not increasing as fast as they did previously when cases were of a similar level.

However Nicola Sturgeon urged caution saying cases remained high. The seven day positivity rate in Glasgow remains roughly double that of Scotland, at 129.5 cases per 100,000 people.

At Level 2 people can meet socially in groups of up to 6 people from 3 households in their own home or another and can stay overnight.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon reveals which areas of Scotland will move to Level 1 

Bars and restaurants can serve alcohol indoors and cinemas, theatres and music venues can re-open. A non-essential travel ban in and out of the city will also now be lifted.

The First Minister did not given an indication of how long Glasgow can expect to remain in Level 2.

Data shows the incidence of Covid-19 in south side trouble spots has dropped significantly.

Five areas were recording rates above 400 per 100,000 people, as of Friday, compared to twelve previously.

They are; Darnley, Pollokshields West, Kinning Park, Ibrox and Tradeston. 

HeraldScotland:

(The most recent data, from May 28, shows the drop in cases (right) in the south of the city. Dark purple indicates rates above 400 cases per 100,000 population.

Nicola Sturgeon said: "I reported on Friday that the situation in Glasgow appeared to be stabilising.  

"I am pleased to say that this remains the case.  

"Indeed, case numbers have fallen slightly in recent days – from 146 cases per hundred thousand people, to 129. This provides further evidence that the major public health interventions we have seen over the last few weeks are having an impact.  

READ MORE: World leaders urge UK to share vaccinations with poorer nations to end variant threat 

"In addition, although hospital admissions are rising, the vaccination effect means they are not, at least at this stage, increasing as fast as they might have done from a similar level of cases earlier in the year. 
 
"It is also important that we consider the harms caused by the virus, alongside the other harms that ongoing restrictions cause. These include wider health harms, social harms, and economic harms.  
 
"These wider harms are not insignificant in Glasgow, given that it is now more than 8 months since, for example, we were last allowed to visit each other in our homes".

"These changes are significant. As someone who lives in Glasgow, I know they will make a huge difference to quality of life."
 
"But I ask everyone to remember that though stable and starting to decline, cases in Glasgow do still remain high - so please continue to be cautious."

The decision to finally downgrade Glasgow has been welcomed by city businesses.

Katie Moody, of Princes Square said:  “This is the news we have been waiting for. 

"It’s been a long time coming and Princes Square is ready to welcome everyone back to shop, dine, socialise and enjoy the full experience.”

Seumas MacInnes, owner, Cafe Gandolfi added: "Thankfully, common sense prevails. This news will allow us to open and not lose money.”

Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) said: "It really is fantastic news and telling businesses now gives them more time to get organised ahead of the weekend.

"However, it must be remembered that late-night operators remain closed with no known dates when restrictions on that sector will be lifted."

Vaccinations have been accelerated across the city with drop-in sessions introduced for people aged over 40 who have been waiting ten weeks or more for second doses.

Young people aged over 19 are also being vaccinated ahead of schedule.