NICOLA Sturgeon addressed a range of issues as she updated the country on the coronavirus crisis.

The First Minister confirmed that for the 18th consecutive day there have been no deaths among people who have tested positive for the disease.

There have however, been 18 new cases, prompting safety warnings after a cluster was identified in Aberdeen.

Here are the four key points from today's briefing.

Bars warning

Addressing the Aberdeen cluster, the First Minister said there may be more than the 13 cases announced yesterday. She thanked the owners of the Hawthorn Bar, where the outbreak is believed to have started, and said that work is being done to address the cluster.

Sturgeon added that the outbreak was "exactly what we feared" when the decision was taken to reopen the hospitality industry.

She said that images of people meeting in bars and restaurants with little or no physical distancing "made her want to cry".

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READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon condemns 'dangerous' scenes at packed Aberdeen bars

The First Minister said she understands the frustration after four months of lockdown, as well as not being able to travel on holiday to different countries.

She added: "I urge all of you to please follow the rules."

Sturgeon said that following the guidance was not just about personal safety, but the safety of friends and family, as well as the good of the economy, ensuring that restrictions do not need to be reapplied.

She stated: "Be in no doubt, if we have to do that we will, because we will have no choice."

Phase four a long way off

Scotland is "nowhere near" meeting the criteria to move to phase four of the route map out of lockdown, Sturgeon said.

The Scottish Government's plans feature four phases and a three-weekly review procedure.

Scotland moved to the next phase at each of the previous review points, but on Thursday Sturgeon announced phase three will remain in place to allow for the reopening of schools on August 11 and the pausing of shielding.

The First Minister has repeatedly warned Scots the move to the final phase could take longer and said today that phase three will continue for the "foreseeable future".

READ MORE: Another 18 people test positive for coronavirus in Scotland

Sturgeon went on to describe tackling Covid-19 through the Test and Protect scheme as "like fighting forest fires".

She added: "It takes enormous effort and enormous resources, and it is always a race against time.

"We all need to help. Test and Protect is at its most effective when incidents like the one we're seeing in Aberdeen right now are kept to a minimum, so all of us need to continue to reduce the risk of transmission by denying this virus opportunities to spread."

Call centres and quicker tests

Updated guidance has been published for essential call centres, the First Minister said.

An outbreak was detected at the Sitel call centre near Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, which was contact tracing for NHS England.

The guidance, which was produced alongside employers and unions, will "further reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace", the First Minister said, and addresses physical distancing, cleaning and hand hygiene.

The FM also confirmed Scotland will receive a share of new coronavirus tests that promise results within 90 minutes – but it is not clear when the testing will be available to Scots.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care announced faster swab and DNA tests to detect both Covid-19 and flu will be rolled out in hospitals, care homes and laboratories.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed negotiations with the UK Government mean Scotland will receive a "population share" of the new tests.

Before the tests can be used in Scotland, Freeman said scientists will study their effectiveness and accuracy then compare them with the current polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests that aim to produce results within 48 hours.

Help for carers

The First Minister encouraged parents and carers to apply for the School Age Payment, a benefit from the Scottish Government which offers £250 to cover school costs of children starting primary school.

Schools are due to go back full-time from next Monday.

The First Minister said: "The basic point here is that there is help out there if you need it and the School Age Payment is a good example of it."

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Freeman also announced a further £50 million for social care settings to address issues caused by coronavirus.

Speaking at the briefing, the Health Secretary said: "I've been clear since the outset that we will meet any increasing need for social care as a result of the pandemic. This additional financial support, together with the other measures we've put in place, I hope is a practical demonstration of our commitment to supporting the sustainability and resilience of the social care sector."

The payment is further to a £50m package in May. It will help to tackle the reduction in residence levels, additional staffing, infection prevention and personal protective equipment (PPE) provision.