NHS Ayrshire and Arran have made a plea to the people of Ayrshire to stick to the rules regarding coronavirus amid concern over exponentially rising case numbers in the area.

The message comes after several outbreaks, which have affected schools, local business and hospitality venues.

Read more: Prestwick BUF: Customers advised to get COVID test after staff cases

The number of positive COVID-19 cases identified across Ayrshire has increased significantly over the past seven days, particularly in South Ayrshire:

  • East Ayrshire: increased from 33 cases per 100,000 population on May 23 to 66 cases per 100,000 population on May 30
  • North Ayrshire: increased from 49 to 62
  • South Ayrshire: increased from 18 cases to 115 cases

The increase in cases meant that we were held back from advancing to level one of the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions.

The First Minister announced on Tuesday that whilst most of the country would be moving down a level, all three Ayrshire council areas would remain in level two.

Read more: Ayrshire COVID level: We're to REMAIN in level two

NHS Ayrshire & Arran Director of Public Health Lynne McNiven said: “The past 16 months has been extremely difficult for everyone, and we are all desperate to get back to the things we love.

"However, while there is light at the end of the tunnel and restrictions are starting to ease, it is extremely important that we stick with it, and continue to follow the guidelines.

“There have been a number of outbreaks across Ayrshire, and so our contact tracing team are working hard to ensure all those affected are contacted and advised to self-isolate.

“As a result of the increased cases, Ayrshire will remain under level two restrictions. COVID-19 has not gone away and, if we want to see restrictions ease further, it is important that we adhere to the current restriction rules and FACTS.

“But we need your help. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves, our family and friends, and our community.

“The vaccine provides our best way out of the coronavirus pandemic and a return, in time, to the things we’ve all missed. So, make sure you get the vaccine when it is offered to you. It is the most important thing you will do this year.

“Testing will help us to identify more cases of the virus and give us all a better chance of stopping it from spreading. So, get tested regularly, particularly if you are a key worker and must attend work. Even if you have been vaccinated, it is still important that you get tested regularly. And if you are advised to self-isolate, make sure you do.

“And don’t forget the FACTS guidance. This will help to protect our families, communities and the NHS.”

  • F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)
  • A – Avoid crowded places.
  • C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.
  • T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.
  • S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms."