NICOLA Sturgeon has asked Scots to stick rigorously with the lockdown restrictions, saying Scotland was at a “critical stage”.

Over the weekend, huge queues were spotted at drive-through Costa coffee shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh after the chain reopened a number of its branches.

In Edinburgh, the lines were so long, a member of staff had to stand on the road to stop vehicles blocking the roundabout near Cameron Toll.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing yesterdat, the First Minister said: “The most important task for all of us in the here and now is to get the virus under more control than it is right now.

“And I cannot stress that enough. We really are at a critical stage.”

Sturgeon said Scottish Government data showed it would be “easy” to go “in the wrong direction.”

She added: “So that means asking you again to stick rigorously to the current rules, it means asking you to think hard about your own compliance, and tightening that if anything now, not easing up on it. If you have been going out a bit more than you should please rectify that. Please stay at home except for essential purposes, and remember at this stage essential purposes means only essential food supplies, medicines and daily exercise.

“And you should ask yourself if, for example, going for a drive-through coffee is really an essential journey.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon hints Scotland may diverge from UK on school closures

Figures published yesterday showed that a total of 1,620 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 44 from 1576 on Monday.

The First Minister said 12,437 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, an increase of 171 from 12,266 the day before.

There are 104 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, an increase of five on yesterday, she added.

There were 1656 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of 64. Since March 5, a total of 2847 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have been able to leave hospital.

A paper published yesterday said there was some evidence that the R number in Scotland is higher than elsewhere in the UK. The First Minister said this was likely to be because the country is at an earlier stage of the infection curve.