Scots are being urged to postpone their Christmas parties until another time amid the concern over rising Omicron cases.

Public Health Scotland issued the advice today given that covid cases, particularly those caused by Omicron, are being linked to Christmas parties. PHS is urging people to defer parties at this time.

Read more: Covid Scotland: More than 3,100 new cases identifed in 24 hours

Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science and Medical Director, PHS said: “There is much that we still need to learn about Omicron, but early evidence suggests that this new Covid variant is much more transmissible. The impact of this transmissibility has been seen in recent weeks, with a number of Omicron outbreaks linked to parties."

HeraldScotland: The plea to call off parties comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised for events at Number 10 on December 18, 2020The plea to call off parties comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised for events at Number 10 on December 18, 2020

He said there is still a need to learn more about the severity of disease caused by Omicron and the effectiveness of vaccines, but added: "there are important things that we can do to help protect ourselves and our families now. To help minimise the further spread of Covid-19, and Omicron in particular, I would strongly urge people to defer their Christmas parties to another time.

“I appreciate that everyone is keen to celebrate this festive season, particularly after the pressures of the last twenty months, but by postponing some plans we can all do our bit to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

The adivice comes after more than 3,100 new coronavirus cases and 16 new deaths from the virus have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

According to the latest Scottish Government figures, 3,196 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded since Tuesday.

One new case of the Omicron variant have been identified, taking the total in Scotland to 109.