COVID cases in Scotland are expected to keep rising until they reach a January peak, according to the national clinical director.

Jason Leitch was speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme after provisional data showed the country had recorded its three highest ever daily Covid case totals between December 24 and 27.

He explained that current Scottish Government modelling suggests this wave will continue into February – but added that how long it lasts depends “quite a lot on human behaviour”.

Scots are being urged to keep social contacts to a minimum and limit any indoor gatherings to three households.

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Hospitality also faces Covid restrictions, with social distancing and table service back, while large events cannot go ahead and nightclubs cannot operate.

People are also being urged to get their booster jag as soon as possible.

Leitch told listeners: "The modelling suggests that the peak of the Omicron wave in the United Kingdom will be somewhere around mid to late January, maybe even pushing into February.

"That will depend quite a lot on human behaviour. That will depend on what we do now.

"We may not want the peak earlier remember, because if this is an enormous wave we may want it to draw out over a longer period because you might then get more people vaccinated.”

On Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also indicated that she expects to see cases keep rising.

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On December 25, 8,252 cases were recorded, with 11,030 positive tests recorded on December 26 and 10,562 on December 27.

Sturgeon said: “While these figures are provisional, the steep increase in cases we have been expecting is now materialising, and this reflects the significantly increased transmissibility of Omicron.

“We would expect to see case numbers rise further in the days ahead – though it is worth bearing in mind that they are likely to have been even higher but for the compliance of the public with the guidance issued in the run-up to Christmas.”