NationalNews

Scotland has reported no new deaths of people who had tested positive for coronavirus for the third day running.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has said the country is close to achieving the "total elimination" of COVID-19, expressed "enormous relief" at the update.

It means the number of coronavirus deaths in Scotland remains at 2,482, while the number of confirmed cases has increased by eight to 18,236.

Of those who have tested positive, 4,050 have been discharged from hospital since 5 March.

There are currently 460 people in Scottish hospitals confirmed to have the disease, five of whom are in intensive care, while eight people are in intensive care with suspected coronavirus.

Regarding Sunday’s update, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: "3 days in a row with no registered COVID deaths in Scotland.

"The sense of relief that I – & I’m sure all of us – feel as these numbers fall is enormous.

"But it’s coupled with an anxiety that we do all we can to keep COVID under control.

"So please follow the rules and #StaySafe."

Like the UK-wide figures provided by the Department of Health, Scotland’s weekend statistics can be artificially low because of a delay in reporting.

For the 24 hours preceding 9am on Sunday, the Department of Health reported 36 deaths and 901 cases – taking the respective totals to 43,550 and 311,151.

Another 127,709 tests were carried out across the UK, with almost 9.2 million having now been done.

Despite lower increases having become expected at weekends, the latest numbers still make for positive reading for Scotland as it prepares to further ease its lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon has been more cautious in her approach to loosening restrictions than Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however non-essential retail will be allowed to reopen in Scotland on Monday.

Such stores started to reopen in England back on 15 June.

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Ms Sturgeon wore a face mask when she visited some retailers on Friday to see how they were preparing.

She has "strongly advised" shoppers to wear face coverings to protect others, but has stopped short of making the practice mandatory.

"These rules are there for the protection of all of us," she said on Friday.

"Abusing retail staff because they’re telling you something that you don’t want to do is not acceptable.

"These people are at work and have to be kept safe too so please treat them with respect and courtesy."

Guidance from the Scottish government urges Scots to shop outside peak times and locally, within five miles of home, and to shop alone or in as small a group as possible.

© Sky News 2020