Nicola Sturgeon has banned hundreds of thousands of Scots in the west of Scotland from visiting other households following a sharp spike in coronavirus cases blamed on indoor gatherings.
The First Minister unveiled draconian restrictions covering more than 800,000 people - 15 per cent of Scotland's population - in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire. The area includes her own Glasgow home.
In what she described as a "wake-up call" for the entire country, she said that from midnight on Tuesday night people in the affected areas must not visit other households or host guests in their homes except in emergencies.
The only other exception is where two households have formed an "extended household" group, such as couples who do not live together. The restrictions will be in place for a fortnight, but will be reviewed after a week.
However, people can continue to meet other households outside and in settings such as pubs and restaurants, subject to social distancing.
Ms Sturgeon made the announcement shortly after it emerged 66 of the 154 new cases in Scotland on Tuesday were in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. The health board also accounted for 135 of the 314 cases recorded in Scotland over the previous two days.
The First Minister said the surge in cases in all three affected local authority areas was of "significant concern" and appeared to be "primarily as a result of household gatherings" such as house parties.
The daily incidence rate of Covid-19 is now almost 33 new cases per 100,000 people in West Dunbartonshire, 22 in Glasgow and almost 19 in East Renfrewshire. The rate for the rest of Scotland is just over 10.
The local lockdown which was imposed in Aberdeen last month had been triggered by a rate of 14 cases per 100,000 population.
Following a rise in #coronavirus cases, new restrictions will be introduced for people living in the following local authorities:— Scottish Government (@scotgov) September 1, 2020
🔹 Glasgow City
🔹 East Renfrewshire
🔹 West Dunbartonshire
The measures come into effect at midnight (Tuesday 1 September), initially for 2 weeks.
Speaking following of the Scottish Government's resilience committee, Ms Sturgeon said: "I think this should be a wake-up call, not just for people in Glasgow city, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
"It should be a wake-up call for all of us to stick to the guidelines and stop this virus spreading any further or any faster."
Ms Sturgeon acknowledged the restrictions "will not be welcome news" for people in the area but said: "I won't be able to have my family visit me at home and nor will I be able to travel to a different local authority, in my case Ayrshire, to visit them."
Under the new regime for the area, the whole household of a person who is identified as close contact linked to the cluster should self-isolate for 14 days.
Visiting care homes will be restricted to outdoor visits only and hospitals will be essential visitors only but schools and nurseries will remain open.
The announcement came the day after Ms Sturgeon warned she may have to reimpose restrictions on meeting indoors as Scotland's daily total of cases rose to its highest level since May.
Up to eight people from three households are allowed to meet indoors but there are fears this rule is being routinely ignored, especially by young people.
5. We expect restrictions to be in place for 2 wks - but we will review them after 1 wk. I know how difficult this will be - I am a Glasgow resident so these rules apply to me too - but they are essential to, I hope, nip this in bud and avoid tougher restrictions.../— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 1, 2020
Ms Sturgeon said: "We are at a stage of this pandemic where we must all act with extreme caution.
“Following discussions with local public health officials and local authorities, it is necessary to ask people in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire to limit their contact with other households."
She appealed to people meeting other households elsewhere to be "extra vigilant" and book a test if they display symptoms.
Although pupils have returned to Scotland's schools in recent weeks, she said only a "very small number" have tested positive for the virus and the spike in cases has been driven by "community transmission".
She said part of the reason for taking "tough action" was to prevent the outbreak forcing the closure of schools and businesses.
It is estimated that the restrictions will affect 633,120 people in Glasgow, 95,530 in East Renfrewshire and 88,930 in West Dunbartonshire.