THE ban on indoor gatherings of more than one household in West Dunbartonshire will last for at least seven more days from today.

The Scottish Government made the announcement on Monday evening as they stated that the restriction is being extended to people living in Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire.

The ban on meetings in indoor household settings has been in place on West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and East Renfrewshire since August 31.

When it was introduced, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the ban would stay in place for 14 days, but would be reviewed after a week.

And as Covid-19 case numbers continue to climb across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, news that the ban will continue until at least September 14 is likely to come as little surprise.

People in West Dunbartonshire, and the other four affected council areas, should not meet with people from other households in indoor household settings.

People from these areas should also not meet people in indoor household settings in other local authority areas.

Members of different households can continue to meet outdoors, including in gardens, and in hospitality settings, provided all existing guidance is followed.

Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes will be limited to essential visits only to protect the most vulnerable.

Outdoor visits to care homes are permitted by three people from a maximum of two households, in line with current guidance.

Households who have formed an extended household, or 'bubble', and people providing care and support – for example caring for an elderly family member or delivering shopping – can continue to meet indoors with enhanced hygiene measures in place.

The ban does not affect people's ability to go to work or to school.

Announcing the continuation of the existing limits, and the extension to Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire, Ms Sturgeon said: “Over recent weeks, we have seen a continued increase in new Covid-19 cases in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde health board area.

“Having looked at where cases are being identified, the advice from the public health experts managing this outbreak is that restrictions on indoor gatherings should be extended to Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire and continue for at least a further seven days in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.

“I understand this will not be welcome news for people living in these areas but it is necessary to help us limit the spread of COVID-19. Acting now gives us the time and the space to protect people and get more control over the virus.

“I would ask everyone to be extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if they have any symptoms.

"Above all, I want to emphasise that getting a test – and even getting a negative result – is not a substitute for self-isolating.

"If you have symptoms, or if you are contacted by our Test and Protect team and told to do so, you will need to self-isolate.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Director of Public Health, Dr Linda de Caestecker, said: “We know it’s not much fun right now not being able to socialise as we would like to and Covid has gone on much longer than any of us would want.

"However the only way we are going to beat this is by working together and sticking by the rules.

"Please limit your contacts and by doing this you’re not only protecting yourself but also your friends and family.”

The current restrictions will be reviewed every seven days in discussion with local partners.

The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.