BARS, pubs and restaurants across East Lothian are to remain closed for another week.

In her daily coronavirus briefing this afternoon (Wednesday), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the current lockdown measures will be extended.

The current restrictions, which started on October 9, saw all licensed hospitality premises in the county be forced to close for 16 days.

As well as this, fitness classes and group exercise for over 18s was suspended but cafes were allowed to remain open until 6pm to help combat social isolation.

These measures are also in place across four other healthboard areas in the central belt, Ayrshire and Arran, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Forth Valley and Lanarkshire, with separate restrictions in place for those outwith these areas.

They were due to end on Sunday (October 25) but will now be in place for another week, ending at 6am on November 2 and being replaced by a new tiered lockdown system.

At the briefing Ms Sturgeon said: “I know all of this is really unwelcome and I know that these restrictions are harsh.

“They are harsh financially for many individuals and businesses, and they are harsh emotionally for all of us.

“I want to stress again that none of these decisions are being taken lightly – this is all about trying to save lives and minimise the health damage that we know this virus is capable of doing.”

She added: "This is first and foremost a public health decision.

“Although we have grounds for cautious optimism that the restrictions are having an effect, the clinical advice to Cabinet is that it would not be safe to lift them as early as Monday.

“The extension allows us to transition to the new levels system from November 2.”