Scottish care homes are facing an 'exceptionally challenging' time as Covid deaths reach the highest level since March.

Official data shows 12 people died in the week up until September 12 with 205 resident confirmed cases.

Almost 700 staff have tested positive for the virus in Scottish care homes in the past four weeks.

Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care urged the public to "do everything you can" to support care home residents and the workforce.

Booster vaccines will begin being offered in Scotland from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The vaccines will be offered to all adults over 50, as well as frontline health and care workers and to younger adults with certain health conditions that put them at higher risk and to household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems.

Sturgeon also said the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised there should be an interval of at least six months between a second dose and a booster dose.

Meanwhile, care home residents will be able to choose a friend or relative as a ‘named visitor’ even during a managed Covid-19 outbreak under new guidance.

It marks a change from the current practice where most homes suspend routine visiting until outbreaks are over.

The Scottish Government said the measure would ensure those living in care homes continue to have meaningful contact with loved ones while balancing the need for continuing infection prevention and control measures.

The change will apply to one named visitor when a care home is in a controlled Covid-19 outbreak and guidance has been offered to care homes to manage this.