First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she “won’t hesitate” to reintroduce lockdown restrictions if Covid-19 starts to get “out of control”.
Tackling the virus while easing lockdown was a “delicate balance” which could easily be thrown off kilter.
If that happened, Ms Sturgeon said the government would have to “consider” restrictions “up to and including” shutting pubs and restaurants.
The first minister said that was “the last thing I want to do”.
Ms Sturgeon said the “big danger” was if the clusters which have been seen in areas like Aberdeen and Inverclyde spread further and lead to community transmission.
At her briefing on Monday, Ms Sturgeon explained: “I don’t want to have to impose any further restrictions on how people live their lives.
“But equally, I won’t hesitate because we have seen over the past four months the damage this illness does to people and we can’t allow that to happen.”
Ms Sturgeon said the return of schools next week and the wellbeing of young people was the government’s priority.
“We will not allow that to be compromised if taking action elsewhere can protect that objective,” she added.
The first minister said images on social media over the weekend of young people gathering in pubs with little or no social distancing made her “want to cry”.
She urged people to “do the right thing” and abide by distancing rules.