Scotland has broken the record for the highest number of daily Covid cases since the start of the pandemic for the second time in the course of a week.
Official figures published on Wednesday indicate that in the last 24 hours, 5021 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the country.
The statistics also showed that five people have died after testing positive for the virus.
As of Tuesday, there were 391 people in hospital, with 44 people in intensive care.
It comes just over a fortnight since most coronavirus restrictions were lifted across Scotland.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already indicated that some restrictions could be re-imposed if there is evidence of a “substantial increase” in serious illness as a result of a cases surge.
Speaking at a briefing on Tuesday, she said: “If this surge continues, and if it accelerates, and if we start to see evidence of a substantial increase in serious illness as a result, we cannot completely rule out having to reimpose some restrictions.
“Of course, we hope not to have to do that and, if we did, we would be as limited and as proportionate as possible.”
Education secretary John Swinney meanwhile said the governments wants to avoid closing schools.
“We want to avoid that at all possible costs,” he told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme when asked whether school closures could be among any early restrictions.
“That’s why a few weeks ago we were being criticised for the retention of face coverings within secondary schools, people would tell us we shouldn’t do that.
“But of course the justification for it appears to me to be ever stronger.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country