INVERCLYDE has been placed in Tier 3 of the new coronavirus restrictions which come into force on Monday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the decision in the last few minutes.

It has been made despite the fact the area has one of the lowest positive test rates at 67 per 100,000, ranked 21 out of 32 areas in the country on the latest weekly figures.

Local authority leaders and the area's MSP lobbied unsuccessfully for Tier 2 status.

Ms Sturgeon said she understood why there was a push for the district to be placed under Tier 2 but it had been assessed that it was not safe yet to do so, as a result of our close proximity to places with high transmission rates.

Inverclyde has been assessed as level three along with East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, and the City of Glasgow, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire, Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, The City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian and East Lothian.

It means that while pubs, cafes and restaurants here will be allowed to open until 6pm, alcohol sales are not permitted.

Premises will only be allowed to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks.