The latest data from Public Health Scotland (PHS) shows that the number of weekly COVID cases in East Ayrshire increased last week.

There were 83 cases reported between March 28-April 3, an increase from 52 the week before.

The total represents a seven day rate per 100,000 of population of 68, which would see the area remain in level three for the government’s planned return to the levels system later on this month.

As has often been the case, the majority of cases are centred around the Kilmarnock area, with every neighbourhood in the centre and south of the local authority area, except Doon Valley North (three cases), being classified as having suppressed the virus according to PHS. A total of 63 per cent of the adult population in East Ayrshire have now received a first dose of the vaccine while 8.2 per cent have had a second jag too.

Nation-wide 56.8 have had a first dose and 10.2 a second dose.

Figures from the National Records of Scotland show that in East Ayrshire there were five deaths where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate between March 22-28, which is an increase of four from the total published for the week before.

Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon announced that all pupils will go back to school full-time when the Easter break is over.

And last week saw another significant change to the rules regarding coronavirus restrictions, with the ‘stay at home’ message changed to ‘stay local’.

This week, hairdressing salons, homeware stores and garden centres also opened as part of the latest unlocking phase.