A public health expert has raised fears that the Cop26 summit in Glasgow will lead to a new wave of coronavirus infections in central Scotland.
Professor Linda Bauld, chair of public health at Edinburgh University, said mass events like the climate conference are still “risky” despite declining rates of Covid-19.
Up to 30,000 people are expected to travel to Glasgow for the summit in November.
Activists are expected to stay in the homes of people who live in and around the city.
There was a rise in Covid-19 cases in Cornwall in June, though the Government denied the G7 meeting there was to blame.
Professor Bauld told Times Radio: “Yes, I am worried about a Glaswegian spike, and I’m not worried just about Glasgow. The central belt is interconnected.
“And we’re seeing declines here but we may not be able to hang on to those gains.
“We’re trying to open up and everything’s trying to operate more normally.
“Everybody’s delighted to be able to go to the cinema or a concert or have more people in their homes.
“This is hard-won progress thanks to vaccines and other things.
“But having huge mass events at the moment, I think it is risky.”
The conference has set out its coronavirus safety measures for delegates, including daily lateral flow tests, but those attending will not be required to use Scotland’s vaccine passport system.
A Scottish Government spokesman told the Times: “Covid-19 continues to be closely monitored by all relevant agencies and we are working with the UK Government, Public Health Scotland and our partners in Glasgow to achieve our priority of a safe and secure Cop26.
“As part of the code of conduct, delegates will be asked to adhere to enhanced Covid measures in the Cop26 Blue Zone, such as one-metre physical distancing and the wearing of face masks unless seated.
“All other national and local restrictions will continue to apply outside the Blue Zone.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton responded to Prof Bauld’s comments, saying: “We saw from the G7 in Cornwall that these major gatherings can bring with them a spike in Covid cases.
“The Scottish Government should set out what proactive measures it is putting in place to enable NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and others to deal with any rise in cases associated with Cop26.
“With experts like Professor Bauld already warning of the risk, there is no excuse for the Health Secretary to be taken by surprise. He should move to support our NHS now.”
The most recent Scottish coronavirus data shows Scotland recorded 29 coronavirus deaths and 2,639 new cases in the past 24 hours.
It means the death toll under this daily measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, stands at 8,878.
The figures, published by the Scottish Government on Thursday, show the daily test positivity rate is 7.0%, down from 7.7% the previous day.
A total of 908 people were in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 on Wednesday, down 10 in 24 hours, with 50 patients in intensive care, down one.
So far, 4,275,208 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,871,406 have had a second.