SCOTLAND has now gone a full week without any new coronavirus deaths, Nicola Sturgeo confirmed.

Speaking during the daily briefing in Edinburgh yesterday, the First Minister said no Covid-19 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours among patients who have tested positive for the virus – the seventh day in a row without a rise in fatalities.

It means the total amount of patients to have died in Scotland after testing positive remains at 2490.

The figure is lower than the 4187 deaths reported earlier by the National Records of Scotland as they do not include suspected and probable coronavirus infections.

The latest figures show 18,373 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by five from 18,368 the day before.

Sturgeon said that on three days in the week to July 9 there were no admissions to hospital of confirmed Covid-19 cases and there have been six days in total since June 26 with no coronavirus admissions.

The First Minister said: “If I think back to the early part of April, into May, what I would have given to stand here and give you figures like that.

“At the peak of this outbreak more than 200 people were for a period being admitted to hospital every day. Let’s not take the risk of going back to that.”

The milestone came as Scotland eased lockdown restrictions further.

The First Minister said: “Today marks the biggest step for Scotland out of lockdown so far. The childcare sector can fully open from today, venues like museums, galleries and other attractions can also welcome visitors from today, although in many cases you will need to book tickets in advance.

“The changes are long-awaited and have been very hard-earned by everybody across the country.

“But I have to say that I am even more nervous about today’s changes than I have been about earlier changes in previous phases of coming out of lockdown.”

Many of the changes involve indoor activity, she said, adding that the risk of the virus spreading indoors, in a pub for example, is significantly higher than it is outdoors.

“That is why we have deliberately waited until infection levels were very low before allowing these services to restart, that gives us the best possible chances of managing the risk that reopening indoor services creates.”

Referring to fresh lockdown restrictions in California – where bars, cinemas and restaurants have had to close down again – the First Minister said: “That must be a reminder that our progress out of lockdown could yet go into reverse. And it will go into reverse if we see signs that the virus is starting to spread widely in the community again.”