East Ayrshire is set to go into a full lockdown this week, according to a leaked briefing provided to business chiefs.

The new measures, if implemented, are expected to come into force in East Ayrshire and 11 other local authority areas for around two weeks from Friday, November 20.

East Ayrshire has been in Level 3 of the Scottish Government's level system since Monday, November 2. It had been hoped that the Level 3 restrictions, which involved curfews and changes to operations for hospitality as well as meeting other people both indoors and outdoors would be enough to stem the rising tide of coronavirus cases.

However, the latest data shows that between November 6-12 there were 224 positive cases of coronavirus in East Ayrshire. Between November 5-11 there were seven people who died as a result of COVID-19. More weekly deaths were only recorded on five seperate occasions during the peak of the pandemic during the Spring/early Summer.

The Scottish Daily Mail reported that business leaders were told "it is likely/probable that on Tuesday the First Minister will say that a number of Scottish local authorities will be put into Level 4 of the Covid strategic framework". 

The areas affected will be the three Ayrshire councils, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, West and East Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, Inverclyde and Stirling, the paper said. 

The details were reportedly revealed in two private briefings with trade bodies. 

No council area has yet been placed in Level 4 of Scotland's five-tier system, but alarm bells were sounded last week that in areas such as Glasgow and Lanarkshire "active consideration" is being given to moving into the top level.

Under level four, non-essential outlets such as bars, cafes and most shops would be forced to close.

However supermarkets would remain open.