Nicola Sturgeon has warned “hard but necessary” decisions may be needed in the coming days to prevent another national lockdown.
The First Minister said coronavirus “could get out of our grip again” as Scotland faces the risk of “exponential growth” of Covid-19.
She said this weekend will be “critical” to how the Government plots a way forward, and added she wanted to give the nation “advanced notice” that the “coming days are likely to see some hard but necessary decisions”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “If we want to avoid another full-scale lockdown – which all of us do – doing nothing almost certainly isn’t an option.
“We have to consider now whether some national restrictions – we have national restrictions in place already, the six-two rule is a national restriction – do we need to have more national restriction?”
The latest Covid-19 figures for Scotland show one more confirmed coronavirus patient has died in Scotland, bringing the total number of fatalities under that measure to 2,502.
A total of 23,776 people have tested positive for coronavirus – up 203 from the day before.
Ms Sturgeon told the coronavirus briefing: “We need to act to interrupt that exponential growth.
“No-one wants to see another full-scale lockdown. And above all we want to keep schools and childcare open because we know how important that is to the education and to the broader wellbeing of children and young people.
“We are seeing increasing numbers of places both here in Scotland and across the rest of the UK that are under local and regional restrictions.
“The bottom line here is that this virus is on the rise again. Our case numbers are not yet rising as fast as they were back in March but they are rising again and they are rising quite rapidly.”
She said the percentage of tests coming back positive is rising and the R number is believed to be above one.
She said what is happening in England, where hospital admissions and ICU admissions are now also rising, should be seen as a “warning signal” for Scotland.
She warned the percentage of coronavirus cases in the older population in Scotland is beginning to rise.
She urged people to follow all of the current rules and advice “rigorously” over this weekend.
“It may well be that if we are to interrupt and break this growth we may need to do more over the next few weeks, and this weekend will be critical in the assessment of how best to do that,” she said.
Ms Sturgeon advised people to avoid travelling to parts of the UK that are under tougher restrictions, as well as avoiding non-essential travel abroad, and to also “think carefully about non-essential travel at home”.
Her comments came after Slovenia and Guadeloupe were added to the quarantine list for Scotland, meaning travellers from those countries must isolate for two weeks.