Six cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in Scotland, authorities have confirmed.
They are in addition to the three already detected in England.
Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney told the BBC: “We obviously have some travel history on some of the cases, I don’t have all of that detail available to me at this stage, but on some of the cases we are aware that there is no travel history involved.”
He added: “What that tells us is that there must be a degree of community transmission of this particular strain of the virus in the absence of a direct travel connection for some of the cases in the southern African area…”
Meanwhile, a case in Brentwood, Essex, which was announced on Saturday, has been linked to Larchwood Primary School.
Specialist testing is being made available for all pupils and school staff. One class will be held remotely.
The first two cases in the UK – in Nottingham and Essex – were announced on Saturday, while a third Omicron case was detected in the UK on Sunday in a person who is no longer in the country.
All close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will need to self-isolate for 10 days, even if they are vaccinated.