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Coronavirus: Scotland sees highest daily rise in COVID-19 infections in nearly three months | UK News

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Scotland has recorded the highest daily rise of new coronavirus cases in almost three months – a jump of 77.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the total number of cases recorded now stands at 19,534.

She added while the prevalence of COVID-19 is low, the R number – the average amount of people someone with the virus passes it on to – may be above one.

No new deaths have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed Scotland will remain in phase three of her four-part plan for easing restrictions.

Local lockdowns are in place in Aberdeen and with the authorities dealing with a “significant cluster” in Coupar Angus, the SNP leader said she is “considering carefully and urgently whether further restrictions are necessary”.

Despite the clusters, Ms Sturgeon said some reopenings penciled in for 24 August could proceed, including outdoor live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers in place.

Organised contact sports can resume but for outdoor coaching sessions the number of people who can attend will be capped at 30.

Driving lessons may also restart, Ms Sturgeon said, as well as indoor face-to-face advice services.

And the reopening of gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts is being brought forward to 31 August.

Ms Sturgeon added further measures could be relaxed from 14 September but “given the volatility we face in transmission of the virus, there is a very real possibility that these plans will change”.

She said the devolved government hopes sports stadiums can reopen in just under a month – but only for limited numbers of spectators who will have to follow strict distancing rules.

It is also hoped indoor contact sports activities can resume for people aged 12 and over from the same date.

Theatres, live music venues and other entertainment sites could be able to reopen then too – again with strict distancing in place.

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