All three Ayrshire areas are to remain in level two of the Scottish Government’s COVID restrictions, the First Minister has confirmed.

Nicola Sturgeon was speaking at a coronavirus briefing in Holyrood yesterday (June 8) where she said that cases were still too high to drop down a level saying a recent surge has ‘the potential to put stress on our health service.’

In East Ayrshire, the most recent weekly figures from Public Health Scotland show that between May 30 – June 5 cases more than doubled, there were 159 cases recorded, an increase from 75 the previous week, which gives us a seven-day rate per 100,000 of 130.3.

That’s the eighth worst rate in the country. Earlier this year, a seven-day rate that high would have seen us placed in level four, but currently, the government is looking at more factors when determining council area levels, such as hospitalisations and ICU admissions.

A walk-in vaccine clinic in Cumnock Town Hall welcomed people to receive a jag on Monday in an effort to stem the spread of the virus as well as the ongoing vaccination programme sending invites to individuals.

Nicola Sturgeon said of the success of the vaccine programme that ‘this remains absolutely crucial in the race we are in of the virus vs the vaccines’.

She said vaccination will allow us to move down through the restriction levels due to its effectiveness at preventing serious illness and hospitalisations.

In East Ayrshire, 77.2 per cent of the adult population have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, 60.3 per cent have had two.