The National Clinical Director has warned that people should consider 'wearing a mask and staying home' as viruses surge across Scotland.

Professor Jason Leitch, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland this morning, said that people should consider sporting masks again and staying off work if they have any cold symptoms.

He claimed that between one in eight and one in 10 hospital beds in Scotland are occupied by someone who has Covid or the flu.

He explained that mask-wearing should become a new norm for those that are unwell to protect others.

Mr Leitch advised that people doing their part to help prevent the spread of illness and to monitor their own symptoms can help keep pressure off the NHS.

Glasgow Times:

He told Good Morning Scotland: "There are things we can do to help each other.

"And we shouldn’t pass on diseases to others.

"This is a new culture for Scotland.

"It means not going to your office. Not going to drive that bus.

“If you have a virus, if you’re not well, you should stay at home and not pass that virus on to others.”

Mr Leitch described the health service as a 'pyramid' and that we should "use our health services wisely" by utilizing NHS Inform and NHS 24, local pharmacies and GP practices before going to A&E.

Mr Leitch told the programme that he 'backed' mask-wearing.

He commended the practice of wearing a mask when unwell or recovering from illness in South East Asian cultures.

Mr Leitch said: "If you are unwell or recovering from a virus, or you feel as though you've just got that scratchy throat at the beginning of a virus, then you wear a face covering.

"In the shops, in the streets in public transport.

"That would be no bad thing for Scotland and the UK to inherit from the pandemic."

He added: "We have thrown off the shackles of Covid, we think it's over.

"Well let me tell you, two million people in Britain have Covid this week."