THE First Minister has warned the whole of Scotland may be put into lockdown if people in level 3 and level 4 disregard a travel ban when it comes into force.

Nicola Sturgeon was speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing as she revealed that a total of more than 5000 lives had been claimed by the virus.

The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland show 278 deaths were registered that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate between November 9 and 15, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5135.

Speaking in Edinburgh, the First Minister said the figures are “really grim and distressing”.

She added: “Sometime in the future when we are through this pandemic we will want to consider how we as a country commemorate the lives that the virus has taken.”

At Holyrood on Tuesday the First Minister announced that more than two million Scots living in 11 council areas would move onto the toughest tier of restrictions at 6pm on Friday until December 11 – in a further bid to contain the virus.

To accompany the move, a travel ban is to be brought into law on the same day, meaning people living in level 3 and level 4 areas will not be legally permitted to travel to and from areas on lower restrictions.

Turning to the new regulations, she said: “Please make sure you stick to the new rules on travel. By doing that you limit your risk of passing on the virus but it’s by doing that that you also make it possible for us to continue with a targeted approach and avoid having the put the whole country into the highest level of restrictions.”

She later pointed to existing travel restrictions in England and Wales with people in the former only able to leave their home for an essential purpose.

“This is a global pandemic. Every time we travel we risk taking the virus from one area to another. So the less we travel, particularly if we don’t need to, the more we are minimising doing that,” she said.

She added that the Scottish Government was trying to avoid a full national lockdown.

“We are trying to avoid the whole of the country being in the same level 4 restrictions,” she said.

“That is only possible if people don’t take the virus from areas where it is high such as where I live in Glasgow to the islands where it’s lowest ... I’m afraid travel restrictions are just an essential part of what we have to do generally to try and defeat the virus. And within Scotland it is essential if we are to keep that more targeted approach.”

She added: “Otherwise we would have to have a one size fits all restrictions for the whole of the country and we will end up with the Highlands or islands and areas in the Lothians with lower transmission being in level 4 because of high rates in Glasgow, not because of the situation in their own areas.”

Level 4 is close to the full lockdown imposed in March and will see the closure of non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as gyms and hairdressers. However, unlike the situation in spring schools will remain open.

Level 4 will be applied in the Glasgow City Council area, as well as Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

Sturgeon also said that according to the official daily figures there had been 54 more coronavirus deaths and 1264 positive tests recorded in the past 24 hours.

The death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 3377.

The First Minister said Tuesday’s decision to put 11 areas into the toughest levels of restrictions was motivated by a goal of having as few additional lost lives as possible before the end of the pandemic.

She reiterated the decision was made to tackle the spread and the number of deaths from Covid-19, as well as to ensure hospitals do not become overwhelmed.

She said work is being done across the UK to allow people to meet during the holiday.

The Scottish Government is in discussions with the rest of the UK administrations in the hope of creating a four-nations consensus on the issue. “We are all desperate for some normality around Christmas and I absolutely include myself in that,” Sturgeon said.