COVID cases in North Ayrshire, after weeks of decline, have increased again, according to Public Health Scotland figures.

There were 35 new cases of coronavirus recorded between April 10-16. Last week we reported that there were just 23 new cases.

That moves North Ayrshire from level one of the Scottish Government’s levels system and into level two as we now have a seven day rate per 100,000 of 26.

The new cases don’t appear to be coming from any neighbourhood in particular, with the majority of them (except four) still being classified as suppressed, meaning there have been fewer than three cases in the last seven days. The four that are not classified as suppressed, Saltcoats Central, Largs South, Stevenston Hayocks, and Saltcoats North East are only responsible for a combined 13 of the 35 new cases, so that means the remaining 22 come from some of the suppressed neighbourhoods.

The National Records of Scotland figures for the number of people who died where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate show that there were zero deaths in North Ayrshire between April 5-11.

Further measures are expected to be relaxed next week, with the First Minister saying the whole country will go into level three, meaning the return of non-essential shops and hospitality business will be able to operate outside. She said this is only possible because of the success of the vaccination programme.

In North Ayrshire 67.6 per cent of the adult population have now received a first dose and 14.4 per cent have received a second dose, too.