PUBLIC health officials may “never know” if mass gatherings by Rangers fans in Glasgow will be a “superspreader” event, according to Scotland’s National Clinical Director.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Professor Jason Leitch cited the lengthy incubation period of the coronavirus as one of the “challenges” faced when tracing the spread.

He expressed his disappointment at the large-scale gatherings over the weekend, adding that public health teams will “manage” whatever comes from it.

He also said he remained “confident” that we will be celebrating the Euros at Hampden next month but stressed it is “up to all of us” to get the outbreak under control.

READ MORE: Tougher lockdown decision due for East Renfrewshire and Midlothian within days

Asked if the Rangers fan gatherings and Home Office protests in Pollokshields would be “superspreaders”, Professor Leitch said: “It’s far too early to tell and we may never know.”

“We have had this challenge throughout the pandemic because we have this incubation period of the virus.

“If it were norovirus and you got it within 12 hours of meeting someone, you’d know where you got it.

“This virus takes seven to ten days to show and 30% of people don’t get symptoms at all, they just get the virus and they can then spread it.

“So, we may never know.

“However, I can tell you for sure that gatherings don’t make it easier. They don’t make it better.

“So, I’m disappointed to see gatherings at the weekend and we’ll manage whatever comes from it.”

Professor Leitch also told the programme that a decision will be made on Thursday or Friday as to whether East Renfrewshire and other areas with rising cases could 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.

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.

“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.”