NICOLA Sturgeon will update Holyrood on Wednesday on whether her Government will reintroduce restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to surge to record levels.

The First Minister told MSPs last week she did not want to bring back curbs but that the coming days would be “crucial” in the Government’s assessment of the issue.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: 'Coming days crucial for decision on new restrictions'

According to the latest official figures, published yesterday, 6152 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the previous 24 hours. The figure is down from a record high of 7113 last Sunday.

Eleven more people have died while 670 patients were in hospital with recently confirmed Covid, including 58 in intensive care.

A report on the state of the pandemic published by the Scottish Government on Friday showed that the reproduction rate – or R number – in Scotland is currently estimated as being between 1.3 and 1.6.

READ MORE: 'It's NOT a flaw': Jason Leitch calls out BBC story on vaccine passport 'glitch'

This is the highest upper limit of R since October last year when a circuit-breaker lockdown was introduced in the Central Belt, but the First Minister has said such a measure is not currently under consideration.

The study also found that case rates have gone up across all age bands over the last week, with the highest case rates observed among under-20s, followed by those aged 20-39, 40-59, 60-79 and the over-80s.

The high number of under-20s with Covid has led to outbreaks in schools.

Last Tuesday, almost half of pupils at an East Dunbartonshire secondary school were absent due to Covid.

More than 400 did not attend St Ninian’s in Kirkintilloch, which has a school roll of 850.

The EIS union said it was an indication of the high levels of Covid in the community.

North Lanarkshire currently has the highest weekly case rate in Scotland, reporting 1262 cases per 100,000 in the week to August 30, followed by Inverclyde with 1238 weekly cases per 100,000 and East Dunbartonshire with 1160 weekly cases per 100,000.

The report also found that hospitalisations are now rising and warned that future hospital occupancy and intensive care use were likely to continue rising as infections increase.

Ministers have said they hope introducing vaccine passports will encourage more younger people to get jagged and prevent the Government from bringing in new restrictions.

The latest estimate for the proportion of 18 to 29-year-olds who are unvaccinated stands at 25.6%.

MSPs are to vote on the measure on Thursday, and if approved will be introduced at the end of September.

The policy will mean that people over the age of 18 would need to show they have had both doses of the vaccine before they are allowed entry to nightclubs and adult entertainment venues, unseated indoor events with more than 500 people in the audience, unseated outdoor events with more than 4000 people and any event which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

The Tories, Labour and LibDems are to vote against vaccine passports. Scotland moved to the lowest level of restrictions on July 19 and lifted remaining curbs on August 9. Face masks are still required in shops and on public transport.

Some experts believe Scotland lifted restrictions too quickly and that the easing should have taken place in a more gradual way.

Dr Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary, University of London, wrote lifting curbs on August 9 was “a mistake” and the country was “proving to be a cautionary tale of what happens when restrictions are dropped and then schools reopened without adequate mitigations when R is already above 1”.