A PUBLIC health expert has warned that Scotland will not be able to suppress Covid-19 infection down to the levels the full lockdown brought about.

Scotland has recorded hundreds of cases every day for the last few weeks – forcing the Scottish Government to ban households from mixing in other people’s homes and close all pubs and restaurants in the Central Belt for 16 days in a measure designed to break the chain of infection.

Professor Linda Bauld, a public health expert at Edinburgh University, believes the pub and restaurant closures set to be in place for 16 days, in tandem with household restrictions, will contribute to reducing the spread of the virus.

Currently, all pubs and restaurants in the Central Belt have been ordered to close - while hospitality settings across the whole of Scotland must shut by 6pm for indoor customers.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing was unable to guarantee that pubs and restaurants will be allowed to re-open when the 16-day restrictions come to an end later this month, when asked about the measures on Sunday Politics Scotland.

Also speaking on Sunday Politics Scotland, Professor Bauld said: "Once this virus takes hold in the community, it moves incredibly quickly. We will probably need more than 16 days to see the full impact of those restrictions.

"All governments are trying to do this incredibly difficult balancing act between not damaging businesses too much and trying to keep the numbers down."

READ MORE: Coronavirus Scotland: Pubs and restaurants could remain shut

She added: "What Scotland needs to do and I think is trying to do is just keep the numbers at a level that allows the system to cope – that's the contact tracing, the testing capacity and get through the winter so that hospitals are not overwhelmed.

"That doesn't mean that we are necessary going to get down to the numbers we had in the summer, I'm not optimistic that we can achieve that – it's really just about coping and that means slowing the spread.

"I think these additional measures, while not a solution, will make a difference.”