EAST Lothian could become a coronavirus hotspot by the end of the week.

Analysis from Imperial College London has identified the county as having a very strong chance of being among the most at risk in Scotland.

It joins nine other locations across Scotland that fall under the same designation, one of which includes the Scottish Borders.

An interactive map, which displays the probability of outbreaks by colour code, reveals that yesterday (Sunday) East Lothian had a 26 per cent chance of becoming a hotspot.

Fast forward a week (this coming Sunday, September 27) and the risk increases drastically to 80 per cent; on October 4 the percentage of risk remains the same.

In the Borders, the risk rises from 44 per cent to 91 per cent across the same timeframe.

Elsewhere in Scotland, the City of Edinburgh has been identified as being somewhat at risk, with researchers predicting there is at least a 60 per cent chance of the area being affected. 

Areas identified by Imperial College London are based on whether weekly reported cases per 100,000 population exceed 50.

For future weeks, research teams give probabilities based on their model, which assumes a situation in which no change in interventions (e.g. local lockdowns) occur.

Local lockdown restrictions continue to be in place in several areas throughout the west of Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned on Friday that some difficult decisions would be taken over the weekend, and stricter rules may be put in place to avoid "another full-scale lockdown".

At her daily coronavirus briefing this afternoon (Monday), Ms Sturgeon said new restrictions in Scotland will come within the next couple of days, described as “a package of measures”.

In Scotland, the rate of transmission (the R number) is on the rise and is now believed to be between 1.1 and 1.4. 

Across the weekend, there were nearly 600 cases recorded, with three further deaths registered.

Today, 255 confirmed cases of coronavirus and no new deaths were recorded.

At a briefing this morning, led by the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, Sir Patrick warned that Britain could be facing 50,000 new Covid-19 cases a day by mid-October, leading to 200 deaths a day a month later if the current rate of infection was not halted.