EAST Lothian's move into Level 2 coronavirus restrictions tomorrow (Tuesday) has been confirmed – but a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in Midlothian has put plans to move it into a lower level of restrictions in doubt.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed that East Lothian's restrictions would be relaxed from Level 3 to the less strict Level 2 tomorrow.

Among the changes, the move to Level 2 will allow hospitality businesses to serve alcohol indoors with main meals, up to 8pm, and beer gardens and outdoor areas to sell alcohol (without food) until 10.30pm.

It is also now illegal to travel between Level 2 and Level 3 local authority areas.

However, concern over the increasing number of positive cases has put Midlothian's move from Level 3 in jeopardy.

Speaking at a press briefing ahead of tomorrow’s review of local authority levels, Ms Sturgeon said: “The National Incident Management Team has expressed some concern this morning about a rise in cases and test positivity over the past few days in Midlothian, so we will be considering this further this afternoon and will confirm the position in relation to Midlothian later.

“It may be that Midlothian will remain at Level 3 for a bit longer until the situation stabilises and, while if that is the decision I know it will be disappointing, it is better than moving the area down a level, only to possibly have to move it back up again in a week’s time.”

Rates of positive cases in Midlothian rose to 100.6 per 100,000 of the population by the end of last week – nearly double the 55.6 rate in East Lothian.

Both local authorities were singled out by Ms Sturgeon during last week’s review as potentially moving down from Level 3 to Level 2 restrictions from tomorrow.

But while East Lothian’s cases have remained stable, a spike in Midlothian has now put an easing of restrictions into doubt.

Across Midlothian, areas which moved into the ‘red’ zone – which saw more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the week up to November 19 – included Shawfair, Thornybank, Easthouses and Bonnyrigg North.

All areas saw single-figure positive cases but, when compared to the size of population, it came in above 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

Pentland, Penicuik South East and Gorebridge and Middleton are the only areas in Midlothian in the lowest rate of fewer than 15 cases per 100,000 people.