by Marie Sharp Local Democracy Reporter

East Lothian is moving back up to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions from Friday after the number of positive Covid-19 cases soared.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that case rates in the county had increased by more than 50 per cent in the last week and came on top of increases over the previous two weeks.

She told the Scottish Parliament: “Unfortunately, therefore, and with obvious regret, the cabinet has decided that East Lothian will move back to Level 3 from Friday.

“This is a difficult but essential decision to seek to avoid further deterioration in the situation and keep people across Lothian as safe as is possible.”

Case rates have spiralled in East Lothian, with 140 cases in the week up to Saturday, December 12, making a rate of 130 per 100,000 people.

These included 30 new positive cases across Musselburgh, 27 in Prestonpans and 29 in Tranent.

This compared to rates of 106 per 100,000 people in Edinburgh and 160 cases per 100,000 people in Midlothian.

Edinburgh and Midlothian will both remain in Level 3.

East Lothian is one of three local authorities to be moved up from Level 2 to Level 3 this week, alongside Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is a public service news agency : funded by the BBC, provided by the local news sector, and used by qualifying partners. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.