Reintroducing lockdown restrictions in Aberdeen has been “effective in beating back the virus”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Speaking as most of the measures were lifted on Monday, the First Minister praised the level of compliance in the city.
Lockdown restrictions were reimposed on the Aberdeen City Council area on August 5 after an outbreak emerged linked to pubs.
The five-mile recreational travel limit, restrictions on gatherings and limitations on hospital and care home visits were lifted on Monday, while the ban on the opening of hospitality businesses will be removed on Wednesday, after checks by the local authority.
Ms Sturgeon said: “These restrictions have been effective in beating back the virus in Aberdeen, for the simple reason that you have all complied very well with them.
“That’s also the reason that we’re now able to lift these restrictions.
“I know how difficult this last two-and-a-half week period must have been for everyone in the city and you have my grateful thanks.”
Latest figures show a total of 427 cases have been identified in the NHS Grampian area since July 26.
Of these 259 are associated with the same cluster linked to Aberdeen pubs, and 1,258 contacts have now been identified from those.
Speaking at the briefing, Ms Sturgeon said of the 66 people in Scotland who tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, provisional figures indicate five were in the Grampian health board area.
A total of 17 were in Lanarkshire, 15 in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and 14 in Tayside, she added, addressing areas which have localised clusters.
Of those cases in NHS Lanarkshire, three were from schools – St Margaret’s High School in Airdrie, Uddingston Grammar and Stepps Primary School. All three pupils are self-isolating and there is no known links to the cases.
These include the outbreak in Coupar Angus, which is believed to have started at the 2 Sisters food processing factory, where 152 positive cases have been identified – 134 factory workers and 18 community contacts.
The cases have risen by 42 since Sunday.
Dr Emma Fletcher, associate director of public health for NHS Tayside, said: “Today’s increase in positive cases was anticipated by the team managing the outbreak as the high volume of contact tracing, which was under way over the weekend, has now been largely completed.
“We are seeing fewer new cases today for follow-up, however detailed contact tracing continues and we remain in a high state of vigilance across Tayside.
“All workers and their household contacts, including children, should continue to self-isolate until August 31 and I want to make sure everyone is clear that this is even if they have a negative result.”
Dr Fletcher added that care home visits had been paused during the outbreak, but experts are “keeping this matter under close review” and will reinstate visits as soon as possible.
She said more than 1,000 tests have been carried out at the two units in Coupar Angus and Dundee set up for workers from the factory, with nearly 3,500 tests at mobile sites across Tayside in the past week.
The First Minister described the outbreak as “very significant” and the number of cases should be expected to rise further but there is currently no evidence of community transmission linked to the cluster.
She stressed the guidance for employees and family members remains in place, meaning they will have to self-isolate for the remainder of the initial 14-day period.
The total number of people who have tested positive across Scotland is now 19,877.
There was no increase in the number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive test and this remains at 2,492, the same as Sunday.
The latest daily figures showed that 1% of those tested for the virus were positive.
Ms Sturgeon said of those who tested positive, 248 were in hospital, up three in 24 hours.
Of these, one was in intensive care, a fall of one.