First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given a warning to residents in the West of Scotland over 'stubbornly high' levels of covid-19 cases, but the picture in North Ayrshire is looking better in recent days. 

In her daily briefing, the First Minister said that several level three areas were a cause for concern and were being looked at closely for further restrictions. 

One of these areas is South Ayrshire, which has not seen the decline in cases that was expected in level three restrictions.

The First Minister said: "There are several local authority areas that we are paying very close attention to. 

"For example, for those currently in level three, there are several areas, particularly in the West of Scotland, where either the increase in cases has stabilised but at a stubbornly high level, or where numbers are currently rising at a rate that's causing us concern.

"We've concluded that it's not necessary at this stage to move any of these areas into level four but clearly that's an option we cannot rule out and we'll be monitoring these areas very closely in the days ahead."

However, there have been signs of improvement in North and East Ayrshire in recent days.

The First Minister said: "There is some volatility in the most recent data for some of these areas, but I would mention, with varying degrees of confidence, East Lothian, City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Midlothian and North Ayrshire and East Ayrshire. 

"Obviously, we will monitor all of these areas carefully, but we hope that if people continue to abide by all the restrictions, we will continue to see improvement and some of these areas may be able to move out of Level 3 relatively soon."

A further 80 cases of the virus were confirmed in Ayrshire and Arran in the previous 24 hours. 

An additional 64 deaths were also recorded across the country, the highest daily total since early May. 

In the latest review of the government's level system of restrictions, Fife, Angus, and Perth and Kinross was moved up to level three due to an upward trend in cases.