Covid cases in East Ayrshire continue to rise with the most recent Public Health Scotland statistics showing yet another increase in the number of positive tests being returned each week.

The latest data show that there were 830 positive test results in East Ayrshire between August 28-September 3.

That’s an increase from the 736 reported the week before. It gives us a seven-day rate per 100,000 of population of 682.6.

One way that politicians are looking to bring case-rates down is through ‘vaccine passports’. In a move that is designed to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the Scottish Government is considering making access to some cultural events dependent on an individual’s vaccine status.

The first minister says it is the least restrictive way of keeping people safe. The idea will be debated in Holyrood this Thursday.

If MSPs agree to it, nightclubs and many large events will only be able to allow entry to people who can show they have had two Covid jabs.

Labour are against the plan, with their leader, Anas Sarwar telling the BBC on Sunday that he thought that “vaccine passports might actually entrench vaccine hesitancy rather than encourage uptake.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said that although initially he was reluctant to endorse the idea, it is needed, adding: “I have said in the past I am sceptical about Covid passports so it is not a decision we have taken lightly, but bearing in mind the number of cases we have been seeing, we want to increase that vaccine uptake in the younger age cohort.”

93 per cent of the adult population in East Ayrshire have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine and 87.2 per cent have had two.