More Scots attended accident and emergency departments in the week before the latest easing of lockdown than at any other point during the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 25,816 patients visited A&E during the week ending May 16, according to the latest NHS Scotland stats.
Of those, 84.8% were seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours – below the Scottish Government target of 95%.
The number of arrivals at A&E is the highest since March 8 2020 when 26,013 patients attended although, by the end of that month, the weekly A&E attendance figure had dropped to a record low of 11,059 patients.
Amid government pleas for people to still seek medical help for urgent illness and injuries despite the pandemic, weekly A&E numbers gradually rose until mid-September when Scotland was moved back into the highest level of lockdown.
But since the end of January, A&E attendances have increased in all but three weeks.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The NHS recovery plan is due to be published within the first 100 days of Government.
“Although pandemic related pressures have eased over recent weeks, as restrictions begin to relax we are now seeing a rise in non-Covid attendances and admissions.
“We are encouraging people to consider options closer to home, by seeking medical advice online at NHS inform, by calling NHS 24, their GP practice, or by contacting their local pharmacy who can also help and prescribe treatment.
“The Scottish Government continues to work with Health Boards through the Redesign of Urgent Care Programme to ensure people are seen safely and to help the public access the right care in the right place at the right time.
“This national change to urgent care will help ensure A&E provides the fastest and most appropriate care for people when they really need it.”