SCOTLAND could eliminate Covid-19 by the end of summer if there is a continued decline in new cases, according to a leading public health expert.

There were no confirmed deaths from the virus on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Professor Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University, said the country would effectively be Covid-free if that progress could be maintained.

She said the challenge would then be how to stop new cases being imported.

A government source reportedly said Holyrood ministers are wary that efforts to suppress the virus could be undermined when the holiday season begins next month, with an influx of English visitors expected.

READ MORE: English tourists 'may face quarantine in Scotland' if Covid-19 cases rise

On Sunday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her relief at the decline of coronavirus deaths is "coupled with an anxiety that we do all we can to keep Covid under control".

Professor Sridhar, who sits on the Scottish Government's Covid-19 advisory group, said Scotland was "not far away" from that goal - but that the "challenge" was to keep it at that level.

New cases of coronavirus have been falling since their peak of 430 a day in April.

READ MORE: No coronavirus deaths registered in Scotland for third day in a row

The number of people who had tested positive rose by just nine on Wednesday and five on Thursday.

Professor Sridhar said if cases continued at that level, with the use of the test and trace programme, then Scotland could eliminate the virus.

She said: "I think for me that's pretty much a Covid-free Scotland. At that point the risk to people's daily lives becomes negligible.

"I think Scotland is on track to eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer by looking at the rate of the decrease [in new cases].

"But we are going to see little bumps, so it's a question of how small can you keep those bumps."

READ MORE: Devi Sridhar explains why Scotland 'has a chance' against Covid-19