NICOLA Sturgeon will update MSPs on the Omicron situation in a live Covid update today as cases of the virus have hit record levels in recent days.

The First Minister will speak before an entirely virtual session of the Scottish Parliament after it was announced that MSPs would be recalled from their winter recess.

Following an update from Sturgeon, MSPs will have the opportunity to ask questions of the First Minister.

READ MORE: How self-isolation rules could change in Nicola Sturgeon's Covid update 

It comes as Monday saw the highest-ever number of daily Covid cases with 20,217 and Tuesday saw the second-highest figure with 17,259 cases recorded.

The number of people has continued to rise with the latest figures showing that there were 1147 patients with Covid-19 on Monday.

When is the virtual session and how to watch?

The update is due to commence from 2pm on Wednesday, January 5.

It will be viewable live on the Scottish Parliament website as well as being shown on the BBC Scotland channel and on the iPlayer.

The First Minister will broadcast virtually with leaders of opposition parties and MSPs able to ask questions following the update.

What is the current Covid situation in Scotland?

Cases of Covid-19 have been hitting record levels in recent days and the week of Christmas, one in 40 people in Scotland were believed to have had the virus.

With pupils returning to school this week, a public health expert has warned that it is "almost inevitable" that Omicron cases will rise due to the higher transmissibility of the virus variant.

Secondary school pupils are being advised to take a lateral flow test before returning to school while those aged 12-15 are being urged to come forward for their second Covid vaccine.

READ MORE: Young Scots explain why they chose to get their second Covid vaccine

The Scottish Government introduced restrictions before Christmas to help stop the spread of the virus over the festive period.

Those restrictions are: 

  • Limits to indoor and outdoor public events. 100 people are able to attend indoor standing events and 200 able to attend seated indoor events. Outdoor events are limited to 500 people.
  • Hospitality and indoor leisure facilities (gyms, theatres and museums) have to socially distance groups of people by one metre.
  • Table service is also a requirement at places where alcohol is served.
  • People are also advised to limit all meetings to just three households.

What are the latest Covid figures?

The most recent figures released on Tuesday show that there were 17,259 new cases of the virus recorded.

The new cases had a positivity rate of 35.3% of the 56,290 tests that reported results.

Data around the deaths of Covid-19 patients was not published on January 4, meaning the official figure still stands at 9858.

There were 1147 people in hospital with Covid-19 on Monday, an increase of 116 on the day before.

READ MORE: Early data suggests 'first step towards pan-coronavirus vaccine booster'

Of those people, 42 were in intensive care, an increase of four.

In terms of the vaccination effort, 4,384,343 people have received their first dose and 4,022,821 have received their second dose.

Some 3,006,133 people have received a third dose or booster.

More detailed figures for the first five days of 2022 will also be released today after the number of deaths and detailed figures for different areas have not been recorded in daily updates due to holidays.