Scotland’s deputy first minister has defended a decision to keep pubs open in greater Glasgow despite new limits on social contact.
Restrictions on visiting other households were reintroduced in Glasgow and two neighbouring areas on Tuesday.
John Swinney said a rise in Covid cases was driven by household contacts and not the hospitality sector.
The new rules affect more than 800,000 people in Glasgow City, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
Mr Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that it was important to take “early action” in the three areas to avoid having to take “more significant action” later which could affect the economy and schools.
He explained: “It’s necessary because we feel we have to nip this particular problem in the bud in the west of Scotland.
“Across the whole of the country the number of positive cases per 100,000 is 9.2. In West Dunbartonshire it’s 32.6, in Glasgow it’s 21.8 and in East Renfrewshire it’s 18.8 – so we’ve got sizeably different position in these three local authority areas.”
The restrictions are different to ones introduced in Aberdeen in August, which included a five-mile travel limit for leisure and holidays, as well as the closure of pubs and restaurants.
The contrast has been criticised by Douglas Lumsden, the co-leader of Aberdeen City Council and Conservative group leader.
In a series of tweets, he said: I hope that @NicolaSturgeon will explain to businesses in Aberdeen that were forced to close, why Glasgow businesses are not being forced to close.
“Aberdeen was locked down for 3 weeks, no hospitality, no travel, no visiting. Glasgow lockdown = no visiting.”
He added: “Glasgow lockdown. No household gatherings so meet your pals in the pub instead.”
In Glasgow city, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire people are being told not to host people from other households in their own homes or visit another person’s home.
The restrictions came into effect from midnight. They will last for two weeks, but will be reviewed after a week.
People living in those areas should also not visit someone else’s home, no matter where it is.
Mr Swinney said he understood Mr Lumsden’s frustration, but said the councillor should be “careful with some of his language”.
“The problem in Aberdeen stemmed from the hospitality sector, so we had to focus on the hospitality sector,” he said.
“Here in Glasgow, we don’t have evidence of that taking its course, so it would be inappropriate and disproportionate to take that action.
“We have got evidence from the contact tracing that has been undertaken on an extensive basis that this is predominantly emanating from household contacts.”
Mr Swinney said the Scottish government needed to get on top of the rise in cases before it led to a more “widespread problem” in the west of Scotland and the whole country.
Announcing the restrictions on Tuesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said they should be a “wake-up call” for the whole country to stick to government guidelines on preventing the spread of Covid-19.
She had raised concerns earlier after the latest daily figures showed 66 of the 154 new cases recorded in Scotland had been in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
The first minister added that Covid-19 continued to be a dangerous and potentially deadly virus which was spreading in the Glasgow area “primarily as a result of household gatherings”.