First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to stay at home as Scotland enters the toughest level of restrictions. 

Hospitality, non-essential retail and gyms were all forced to close for the next three weeks. 

The wave of tough measures come in order to prevent the spread of a highly transmissible variant of Covid-19. 

They apply to every council area excluding Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. 

READ MORE: Covid variant: Level four restrictions start in Glasgow and Scotland

Nicola Stugeon pleaded for people to follow the rules which are now in place. 

She wrote on Twitter: "Level 4 restrictions are now in place across mainland Scotland.

"Please stay home/local as much as possible, to help stop this new, faster spreading strain of the virus running out of control."

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government adapted their definition of essential retail preventing homeware stores and garden centres from staying open. 

Police officers may stop and check drivers though to be flouting travel restrictions as a travel ban comes into place. 

A travel ban is in place between England and Scotland to prevent the spread of the variant north of the border. 

Scots are also advised against travelling outside there council areas if it is not for essential reasons.