A number of Brazilian Covid-19 variant cases have been detected in the north-east of Scotland, Holyrood has confirmed.
The three cases were first identified in Manaus, Brazil.
Three Scottish residents, who flew from Brazil via Paris and London, entered self-isolation and then subsequently tested positive with the virus.
The Scottish Government said it is attempting to contact those who were also on the flight with the affected people.
The individuals found were instructed to self-isolate for 10 days.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman described the identification of the virus strain as “a concern” but said the government was “taking every possible precaution”.
She added: “We have identified these cases thanks to our use of advanced sequencing capabilities which means we are finding more variants and mutations than many other countries and are therefore able to take action quickly.
“This new variant demonstrates how serious Covid is and reinforces the need to minimise the spread of the virus. We would encourage everyone across the country to adhere to the necessary public health restrictions by staying at home except for essential purposes as this is the single best way of staying safe and stopping the spread of this virus.
“It is now also illegal for anyone to travel to or from Scotland unless it is for an essential reason.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said the “majority of people in Grampian should be reassured” they will not be directly affected by these cases.
She added: “Health protection specialists have assessed the cases and, as part of the Test & Protect strategy, their close contacts have been followed up and are being offered Covid-19 testing as usual.
“As an additional safety measure, the Health Protection team are also working to identify those with whom the close contacts may have been in contact. These people are best described as the contacts of contacts.
“All will be offered a Covid-19 test. This is not standard procedure but is being undertaken in this exceptional circumstance to be absolutely sure all possible precautions are being taken. “