A DECISION will be made later this week as to whether East Renfrewshire and other areas with rising cases will be put into tougher lockdown restrictions.

On Friday afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon said that outbreaks in Glasgow and Moray meant they would remain in Level 3 restrictions, with a review in a week, while the rest of mainland Scotland moved to Level 2.

However, cases of the virus are now growing in both East Renfrewshire and Midlothian – sparking fears amid a change in lockdown rules once more.

East Renfrewshire has a rate of 86.9 per 100,000, higher than Glasgow’s when it was announced on Friday the city would be kept in Level 3 restrictions.

Midlothian's rate has more than doubled in a week with an average of 55.2 per 100,000.

Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said a decision on these areas will be taken on either Thursday or Friday.

He told the programme: “As we have always said, you have to have two gears in a pandemic for the advice you give - a forward and a reverse.

“I’m hopeful, having seen all the hope yesterday with things easing, we can stay on that path.

“But that depends on two things – the public health response and each of us.

“I live in Glasgow, so it depends on me following the guidance that’s in my area.

“It’s true in East Renfrewshire, it’s true in Midlothian where we’ve seen a little uptick in the numbers, so we just need to be careful.

“We will give advice all this week and we will be speaking to the First Minister and her cabinet later in the week – and they will decide on Thursday or Friday what to do with the two that are in Level 3 and any that might have to move.”

Professor Leitch added that it was “not yet” the advice for people aged 18-39 in East Renfrewshire to be offered the vaccine – after similar measures were introduced in hotspots in Glasgow.

He said: “The more important vaccine initiative is to find all the people who perhaps missed their first appointment in the vulnerable group.

“So, for any reason you’ve missed your first dose, we don’t care why and won’t judge you.

“Or if you missed your second dose because you’re already vaccinated and think you don’t need it – please come forward. We would love to give you that full protection.”

He added: “Depending on supply, we absolutely want to do the over 18s just as quickly as we can do it – but we need to do this with non Astra-Zeneca if we can.

“Early on, we used a lot of Pfizer for our older colleagues because we had more of that in production, so we just need to work all of that out.

“It’s quite complicated – but the trick is if you are called or missed an appointment, please come.”