The idea of a normal Christmas with large family gatherings is "fiction" for this year, Scots have been warned.

People in Scotland have been told to prepare for a "digital Christmas" as lockdown restrictions are set to remain in place over the festive period.

The warning came from National Clinical Director Jason Leitch, who appeared on BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme on Thursday.

“Christmas is not going to be normal," he said. "We are not going to be in large family groupings with multiple families coming around. That is fiction.

“I am hopeful, if we can get the figures down, we may get some form of normality. But people should get their digital Christmas ready.”

READ MORE: Second wave and Christmas 'peaks' could lead to tens of thousands of deaths, Sage expert warns

On Wednesday, Scotland recorded 1739 new positive cases of Covid-19, marking 19.8% of those newly tested.

HeraldScotland: NHS Scotland clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said as much information as possible should be in the public domain

The highest number of daily deaths in six months was recorded, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming 28 deaths.

Ms Sturgeon announced pubs and restaurants in central Scotland will remain closed for a further week.

Professor Leitch's warnig comes after similar admissions from members of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) yesterday.

Professor John Edmunds, one of the UK's top scientists, has warned that the second wave of cases could bring tens of thousands of deaths in what is a “bleak” situation, and the UK can expect coronavirus "peaks around Christmas".

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon confirms Scotland set for five-tier coronavirus lockdown system

He said immediate action is needed to stem the rising tide of Covid-19 cases - and not just regionally.

He told the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees: “We’ll see peaks around Christmas, in the new year of very severe numbers of cases throughout the UK.

“So I think we are looking at quite a bleak situation unless we take action, and we have to take action."