Scotland records highest daily increase in coronavirus cases for several weeks

Scotland has seen one of its largest increases in day-on-day coronavirus cases in several weeks, with 31 new positive tests in the past 24 hours.

The figure is one of the biggest jumps in confirmed cases since mid-June and brings the positive test rate to 1.1%.

It prompted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to warn "Covid is still out there".

Scottish pubs reopened indoors earlier this month, with social distancing measures in place. Credit: PA

Of the latest cases, a cluster of 13 is being investigated by health officials - with the patients linked to a pub in Aberdeen.

NHS Grampian says the cases are associated with The Hawthorn Bar in the city centre.

The pub's owners confirmed that some customers who visited on Sunday, July 26, have since tested positive for Covid-19.

All those who tested positive are showing only mild symptoms, though the health board says there may be further cases linked to the cluster.

The Hawthorn Bar had physical distancing measures in place and contact tracing is being carried out in line with the Scottish government's Test and Protect scheme.

The owners of the pub said they had been given permission to continue trading by the council's environmental health team, despite the cluster.

In a post on Facebook, they said: "Our venue underwent further deep cleaning as well as ‘decontamination by fogging’.

"We assure all customers we have been and continue to do our utmost to protect their safety and we continue with strict rules and measures in place.

It added: "We do ask all customers to be extra vigilant and adhere to our policies at all times."

Scotland has already eased coronavirus lockdown with the reopening of pubs indoors. Credit: PA

Dr Emmanuel Okpo, consultant in public health medicine, said: "Our health protection team are speaking to the confirmed cases, establishing who they have been in contact with and providing further advice on isolation and testing as required.

"We are also carrying out wider contact tracing work, as part of the Test and Protect scheme."

He said "further cases" linked to the original 13 cannot be ruled out.

Dr Okpo added: "These cases highlight that Covid-19 still poses a real risk to all of us.

"We cannot emphasise enough the need for everyone to take all the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe."

Scotland again reported no new deaths of people who had tested positive for Covid-19, meaning the total under this measurement remains at 2,491.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Another day y’day with no deaths of people who had tested positive for Covid.

"However, 31 new cases reported. All of these being carefully investigated and appropriate action taken. But we should take this as a further warning that Covid is still out there."