Nicola Sturgeon was last night told to self-isolate on the same day that Scotland recorded a record number of coronavirus cases for the fourth time in a week.
The First Minister revealed that she had been identified as a close contact of a person who had tested positive for Covid-19, as she became one of the thousands to fall victim to an unprecedented surge in virus numbers.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted last night: “I’ve had notification tonight that I’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive for Covid.
“Accordingly, and in line with the rules, I’ll be self-isolating pending a PCR test result. My thanks to all the contact tracers working so hard in NHS Test & Protect.”
While Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer have both had to self-isolate previously, it is the first time that Ms Sturgeon has been told to stay at home by contact tracers.
While she is unlikely to be told who the positive case she came into contact with is, Ms Sturgeon attended a graduation ceremony at the University of Edinburgh on Friday.
Ms Sturgeon is currently mulling over whether to reimpose some coronavirus curbs after case numbers spiralled over recent days. The recent outbreak has been linked to the return of schools in mid-August.
On Sunday, the number of new cases in Scotland hit 7,113, a new daily high. It is the fourth time in six days that a record number of new cases has been reported.
The number of people in hospital also increased for the ninth consecutive day, reaching 507, with 52 in intensive care.
Jason Leitch, the country’s national clinical director, has predicted the daily tally may reach 14,000 this week. Ms Sturgeon on Friday pleaded with the public to follow voluntary measures, such as physical distancing and ventilating rooms, after the vast majority of legal restrictions were eased on August 9.
Forecasts have suggested that under a “realistic worst case” scenario, the numbers being admitted to hospitals could exceed the previous peaks, despite the success of the vaccination programme.
Under new protocols put in place for those identified as a close contact of a positive case, Ms Sturgeon will be able to end her isolation if she tests negative for Covid-19 with a PCR test.
The rule applies to people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Ms Sturgeon received her second vaccination on June 21.