Tougher covid rules could be put in place as early as next week if cases continue at a high level, the Deputy First Minister has said.

John Swinney said that the continued number of high cases was "concerning".

He said hospital admissions remain high and pressure on the NHS is expected to increase over the winter.

Swinney said: “The spread of the virus has not reduced to the low levels we saw after the lockdowns.”

He said it was at a “concerningly high level.”

Swinney said the next review period was one week today and he stated: “We stand ready to respond when the data indicates it is appropriate.”

He said that the government could extend the vaccine passport scheme to include indoor hospitality and leisure settings.

He said that discussions with business will take place soon.

And he said that it could be people are required to wear face coverings in more settings.

Swinney said the government was “exploring all options”.

He warned COP 26 could lead to an increase in positive cases.

Swinney said: “It poses risk of spread within delegates and to and from the local population.”

He said despite all the measures in place it could increase the spread of the virus.

We are only just past the mid-point and will give another update following the conclusion of the event.