SCOTLAND'S national clinical director has warned Scots not to book any summer holiday next year they can't cancel. 

Jason Leitch said he was hopeful next summer "will look a lot more normal" but international travel restrictions could remain in place.

He said there is also a "small chance" the virus could change. 

Mr Leitch made the comments while giving evidence to Holyrood's Covid-19 Committee. 

SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing asked if people should be "planning anything" for their summer holidays next year.

Mr Leitch said: "I certainly wouldn't book anything you can't cancel, and can't get your money back from. 

"But I am very hopeful that next summer will look a lot more normal than the summer we've just come through."

He said the "key intervention" was the development of vaccinations.

He added: "It's not population-level vaccination, and it will not be for some months.

"But by the summer we will know a lot more. We will hopefully, with a fair wind, have vaccinated the vast majority of the at-risk community and we will be into less risky communities by then.

"We will know whether the vaccine gives you coverage from transmission as well as disease.

"The crucial unknown is what will happen in the rest of the world. Remember this is a global problem, it is not a Scottish problem, and you have to vaccinate Indonesia and Nigeria as well as Scotland.

"So there will be international travel restrictions, I think, for some time to come."

Mr Leitch said there is a "very, very encouraging start now with the vaccine".

However he also pointed out the virus "might change". 

He said: "If the virus stays stable, this is all good news. 

"But the virologists warn us all the time that there is a small chance the virus will change. 

"That's not looking likely just now, but we just have to have a note of caution in all of the enthusiasm for the vaccine."

He added: "I think we will be going on holiday next summer but I'm not sure it will look quite like a normal summer. 

"But it will look a lot better than the summer we've just had."