LOCKDOWN restrictions in Helensburgh and Lomond - and across the country - will be tightened further from this weekend, the First Minister has announced.

Six changes will be enforced from Saturday as efforts to curb the rise in Covid-19 case numbers are stepped up.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament Nicola Sturgeon said new rules will be brought in to limit the operation of click-and-collect services, meaning only shops selling essential items will be allowed to offer the service.

All others must stop their click-and-collect operations, while those remaining open must offer staggered appointments to limit any queuing.

There will also be additional restrictions on takeaway services, with customers no longer permitted to enter premises.

From Saturday it will be against the law in all level 4 areas to drink alcohol outdoors in public, while the government will also strengthen the obligation on employers to allow staff to work from home where possible.

Statutory guidance will be introduced to make clear to employers that they must support workers to work from home wherever possible.

There will also be a strengthening of provisions relating to work inside people's houses: work is only permitted within a private dwelling in a level 4 area if it is essential for the upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household and this guidance will now be put into law.

Finally, there will be an amendment to the guidance requiring people to stay at home.

In order to "close a a potential loophole" in the rules, the First Minister said that people must not leave or remain outside the home unless for an essential purpose. There is no time limit on how long you can be outdoors for exercise.

Ms Sturgeon said: "We would not be doing any of this if we did not believe it essential to get and keep this potentially deadly virus under control.

"Case numbers are still so high, and the new variant is so infectious, that we must be as tough and as effective as we possibly can be to stop it spreading.

"That does mean taking further steps to stop people meeting and interacting indoors and also outdoors. Today's measures will help us to achieve that, they are a regrettable but necessary means to an end."

A further 79 deaths have been recorded over the last 24 hours where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There have been 1,949 new cases, representing 10.2 per cent of tests, while more than 191,000 people have now received their first dose of the vaccine.

The First Minister added: "In concluding, I want to stress again that though these are dark and difficult times we also have grounds for hope.

"There are some early signs that the lockdown is beginning to have an effect so we must stick with it.

"However hopeless this situation makes all of us feel at times, the fact is none of us are powerless in the face of this virus.

"We can't guarantee we won't get it or pass it on, it is after all highly infectious, but we can all behave in a way that signifcantly reduces our risk of getting it or passing it on, so please continue to do that.

"Please stick to the spirit and not just the letter of these rules.

"In everything you do, assume that the virus is there with you."