Covid cases in Scotland are finally on a downward trend, as confirmed by Nicola Sturgeon during her update to Parliament on Tuesday. 

Following the relaxation of major restrictions on August 9, Scotland experienced a surge in cases which saw daily rates frequently peak above 6,000. 

It meant that Scotland had some of the highest case rates in Europe relative to population over this period, but now this is finally changing. 

After entering September with the top 2 areas in Europe with the highest Covid rates per 100,000, Scotland has now dropped out of the number one and two spots. 

There are 5 Scottish areas in Europe's top 20 hotspots, down from 8 three weeks ago. 

Here's what you need to know about where the hotspots are...

Where are the Covid hotspots in Scotland?

As of September 19, Scotland has 5 of the top 20 areas in Europe with the highest Covid rates per 100,000. 

However, there is only one Scottish area in the top 5, with Ayrshire and Arran overtaking both Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow. 

The hotspots in Scotland per 100,000 according to the World Health Organisation's data from the past 7 days are:

  • Ayrshire and Arran with 599 cases per 100,000
  • Lanarkshire with 592 cases per 100,000
  • Greater Glasgow and Clyde with 548 cases per 100,000
  • Fife with 532 cases per 100,000
  • Forth Valley with 504 cases per 100,000

These figures are down significantly from August 28, when Lanarkshire topped the European numbers with 972 cases per 100,000. 

During her speech on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon seemed optimistic about the falling cases, but continued to urge caution. 

Tweeting on Tuesday afternoon, she said: "Covid cases are now falling quite sharply in Scotland - thanks to everyone whose efforts have helped get them on a downward track.

"But they remain high, so please stick with all the measures we know make a difference - vaccines, tests, face coverings, ventilation, hand hygiene."

What are the Covid cases in my area?