UK authorities have confirmed that six new cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found in Scotland.
The discoveries are in addition to the three already detected in England.
Two cases have been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area and four are in the Lanarkshire area.
Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “This will be a worrying time for the six people now identified as having the new variant.
“All will receive expert help and support and Public Health Scotland will undertake enhanced contact tracing in all cases.
“This will help establish the origin of the virus and any further individuals they have come into contact with in recent weeks.
“There is still much to learn about the Omicron variant.
“Questions remain about its severity, transmissibility, and response to treatments or vaccines and scientists are working at pace to provide additional information.
“Until more is known we must be cautious and do everything we can to minimize the risk of spreading infection.
“We have already taken steps and are aligning with the new border restrictions being introduced by the UK Government which will require fully vaccinated arrivals to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative result is received.
“These measures will be introduced as soon as possible and kept under constant review. However, we reserve the right to go further if necessary.
“We are also adopting the expanded red list of countries identified by the UK Government.
“This will also be kept under review.”