SCOTLAND's national clinical director has said he is concerned about winter Covid-19 cases as 200 people were admitted to hospital with the disease last week.

The comments come after reports that 800,000 people across the UK may be suffering from a new strain of Covid, Eris, according to the latest figures.

Eris is a subvariant of the Omicron variant of the disease, meaning many symptoms are similar. It is also being blamed for the latest spike as it now accounts for one in seven Covid-19 cases.

Professor Jason Leitch urged eligible people to get vaccinated when the programme starts next month on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show.

Last year, the autumn booster jab was offered to those 50 and over, but this year the eligibility criteria has been tightened so only those aged 65 and over will be offered the jab.

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Scotland has seen a rise in cases whilst routine testing in hospital and care homes is being scaled back. The public is still being urged to be vigilant while reports state one GP has warned ministers Scotland is on the brink of another Covid crisis.

Asked about the report based on a leaked email, Leitch said: "There is upswing in cases. That's absolutely true.

"During June, July, August, hopefully into September, we do see quite a lot of variation but from a low level. But we are concerned about winter.

"All viruses like these, like the flu, RSV in kids, Covid in all ages, get worse as the temperatures change."

He added: "If you are called and if you are eligible get yourself vaccinated for both or one of these diseases, whichever you are eligible for, flu and Covid.

"And, this is the hard cultural thing in a working and an educating environment like we have in Scotland, if you are not well don't mix with other people. So, stay at home."

Two wards at Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway re-introduced restrictions on both visitors and all clinical staff, asking them to temporarily wear face masks until further notice following a "small number" of Covid cases.

An NHS Western Isles statement said: "This is normal practice in outbreak situations to preserve services and protect patients."

It is understood the guidance will be reviewed on Monday.

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NHS Scotland will contact people with details of their vaccine appointment or may contact them prompting them to book.

The “success of these programmes has enabled us to live with Covid and, this year, we are able to scale back the number of people who require an autumn booster”, officials have said.

The Covid-19 jab is not available privately in the UK, so those who were offered the vaccine last year and are not eligible this year will not be able to purchase the jab themselves.

Email, text messages, or by post in a white envelope with NHS Scotland’s branding will be sent to the individual depending on their preferred communication method.