Covid in Scotland: 'Stay sensible' plea as people head outdoors

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image copyrightStirling Council
image captionLarge numbers of cars were parks on the verge near Ben A'an in the Trossachs

People taking advantage of travel restrictions being eased are being urged to stay "sensible" and stick to the Covid guidelines.

Restrictions have been relaxed allowing people to travel between council areas and meet more people outdoors.

The fine weather has seen parks, beaches and other outdoor spaces across Scotland busy.

Many car parks in beauty spots such as Loch Lomond and rural Stirling have been full since early morning.

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park reported that most of its main car parks were full, while Stirling Council was taking enforcement action against drivers not parking in its designated car parks.

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Prof Linda Bauld said: "People are wanting to get outside and take advantage of it and that's completely understandable, but it's just about being sensible now."

image captionPeople enjoyed the sun at The Meadows in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh University academic said there was a "relatively low risk" to meet outdoors but the "one thing to avoid" at this time was the temptation to spend time with people indoors.

She added: "At this time try not to go into other people's homes and if you have to, then limit that and of course wear a face covering indoors."

Latest figures show Scotland has recorded two more deaths from coronavirus, and a further 210 cases of the virus.

Of those tests, 1.2% of results came back as positive, a relatively low proportion.

Meanwhile, there were 109 people in hospital on Friday who had recently been confirmed as having coronavirus - down six from the previous day's total.

However, the number of patients requiring intensive care, discounting long term cases, had increased by two, to 18.

The number of people to have received a first dose of a vaccine now stands at 2,733,387 which is more than half of Scotland's 5.4 million population.

Prof Bauld said a new variant of Covid, known as the Indian strain was an issue to "watch very carefully" but she pointed out it was one of many variants that have emerged since the start of the pandemic.

On Friday it emerged that four cases of the B.1.617 variant had been detected in Scotland, along with 73 cases in England.

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