SCOTLAND has recorded more than 5000 new cases of Covid-19 in just 24 hours as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country.

The number of cases recorded today, 5155, is the highest that has been recorded in a single 24-hour period since September.

It comes as a further 22 deaths of coronavirus patients were reported.

This brings the total number of people in Scotland who have died within 28 days of first testing positive for the virus to 9747.

The official figures record this number as 9746, but note that a "data linkage issue" at Public Health Scotland has excluded one historic death from the total. This issue is currently being resolved.

READ MORE: Is Christmas cancelled? The key points from Nicola Sturgeon's Omicron update

The 5155 cases recorded on December 15 represent 9.1% of the 61,011 new tests for Covid-19 that reported results in the past 24 hours.

Across Scotland there were 544 people in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed Covid-19. There were 38 people in intensive care.

In terms of the vaccination effort, a total of 4,364,802 people have received their first dose, while a total of 3,981,180 have also received their second dose. 

A third "booster" shot has been given to 2,254,406 people in Scotland, the figures show.

The news comes as bookings for booster jags opened to everybody over-18 in the country.