THE annual Glasgow Film Festival will take place virtually this year due to current lockdown restrictions, organisers have announced.

The festival had planned a hybrid approach, screening films at the Glasgow Film Theatre and at 23 partner cinemas across the UK, as well as streaming online.

But lockdown measures have forced cinemas to close.

In December, all of mainland Scotland was placed into Tier 4 – the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

On Monday, additional measures were introduced until at least the end of January.

READ MORE: Three charged after police called to Scottish home amid 'concern over Covid rule breach'

Cinemas can only open in Tiers 0-2 in Scotland, and festival organisers said they do not expect this to happen before events begin.

The festival will now take place online only from February 24 to March 7.

Plans to show in-cinema screenings will be reviewed if changes to restrictions allow cinemas to reopen.

Allison Gardner, chief executive of Glasgow Film and co-director of Glasgow Film Festival, said: “While we are very disappointed not to be screening this year’s Glasgow Film Festival in cinemas, the hybrid nature of GFF21 (Glasgow Film Festival 2021) means we are still able to offer the majority of the premieres originally included in the programme for people to watch at home.

“Audiences can look forward to the same high quality of choice as they’d normally expect from GFF, as well as the opportunity to see the best new, independent films from Scotland and around the world.”

Tickets for the festival’s online premieres will go on sale on January 18.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon revealed that 93 people have died of coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hours.

Speaking at the media briefing, the First Minister revealed that this is the highest daily number of coronavirus deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Covid in Scotland: 93 deaths recorded as numbers in hospital exceed first wave peak

There were 2309 coronavirus cases reported over 24 hours, accounting for 8.1% of all tests. The total number of positive tests in Scotland since the start of the pandemic now stands at 146,024.

Of the new cases 692 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 390 are in Lanarkshire and 320 are in Lothian.