An online ‘Covid calculator’ has predicted almost all local authorities in Scotland are at high risk of being a virus hotspot when the country moves to Level 0.

Scotland is due to move to the lowest level of Covid lockdown restrictions on July 19 – the same day that all restrictions are being dropped in England.

However, the Imperial College London map predicts that almost all of Scotland has a probability of seeing cases rise above 100 per 100,000, which it classes as a 'hotspot.'

There are only four local authorities that the calculator predicts has a less than 50% chance of being a hotspot. They are Argyll and Bute (4%), Na h-Eileanan an lar (4%), Orkney (0%) and Shetland Islands (0%).

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READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon hints at lockdown exit delay with ‘not popular’ decisions ahead

According to the website, 22 council areas have a 90% or higher chance of being a virus hotspot when restrictions ease.

That includes Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen and Stirling.

The website uses data on daily reported cases and weekly reported deaths and mathematics modelling to report a probability that a local authority will become a hotspot in the following week.

The predictions do assume no change in current interventions (lockdowns, school closures, and others) in a local authority beyond those already taken about a week before the end of observations.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon last night strongly hinted that Scotland’s exit from lockdown may have to be delayed, admitting she faces “not easy or popular” decisions in the days ahead.

The First Minister had said the scheduled dates to ease lockdown rules in Scotland – initially to Level 0 on July 19 then almost all restrictions gone by August 9 – were “not set in stone”.

But she later added that it is a time for “care and caution” as cases continue to rise steeply.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Sturgeon said the number of coronavirus infections in Scotland is “higher than we want them to be right now and higher than we should be comfortable with” but suggested we may be seeing a “stabilisation and a slowing-down of the rate of increase”.

She said that the current coronavirus situation is not the “worst case trajectory” in terms of deaths, cases and hospital admissions that the Scottish Government had modelled “but we’re not as close to the best case trajectory that we would want to be either”.

Looking ahead to the easing of restrictions, with a statement due on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said: “The question is what pace do we take to get to the end point, how safely do we do it and – to be blunt – how many lives are going to be lost, how many people are going to end up in hospital between now and then?

“That means there is a need for care and caution and, perhaps more than any other time in all the years I’ve been First Minister, my job is not to take the easy or popular decisions, my job is to take the tough decisions that are most likely to get us through this safely.”

Earlier last night she was asked by the BBC if the planned dates out of lockdown were set in stone, to which she replied: "Nothing, against a global pandemic of an infectious virus that has got more infectious and transmissible with the Delta variant, can be set in stone.

"I want as much as everybody does the certainty of 'by this date we will be free of everything and there will no longer be any restrictions'.

"Every part of me wants that and every part of me believes we are on a journey towards that and heading in that direction.

"But to set dates in stone while we still face that virus would not in my view be responsible. My job is to take hard decisions that get us as safely as possible to that end point."

Here are the chances of a hotspot in your area, according to the study: 

Aberdeen City – 99%

Aberdeenshire – 94%

Angus – 96%

Argyll and Bute – 4%

Clackmannanshire – 88%

Na h-Eileanan an lar – 4%

Dumfries and Galloway – 69%

Dundee City – 99%

East Ayrshire – 95%

East Dunbartonshire – 99%

East Lothian – 79%

East Renfrewshire – 99%

Edinburgh City – 96%

Falkirk – 98%

Fife – 99%

Glasgow City – 99%

Highland – 98%

Inverclyde – 90%

Midlothian – 97%

Moray – 84%

North Ayrshire – 96%

North Lanarkshire – 99%

Orkney – 0%

Perth and Kinross – 99%

Renfrewshire – 99%

Scottish Borders – 35%

Shetland Islands – 0%

South Ayrshire – 83%

South Lanarkshire – 97%

Stirling – 98%

West Dunbartonshire – 99%

West Lothian – 97%