Auchinleck Surgery has said it "must reduce footfall to the practice as much as possible" to safeguard patients and staff because of rising cases of Covid-19.

Having received further guidance from the Scottish Government in light of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, the surgery says social distancing rules will remain in place and the front doors are only being kept open for patients who have an appointment.

Prescriptions will be sent to people's pharmacy of choice for collection, and normal services will continue to be provided as much as possible, although this is "being reviewed daily".

A spokesperson for the Main Street surgery said: "Social distancing rules will still be in place and we must reduce footfall to the practice as much as possible for the safety of our patients and staff.

"We are keeping our front doors open but this is only for patients who have an appointment. Prescriptions will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice for collection.

"We are continuing to provide as many of our normal services as possible though this is being reviewed daily. Your cooperation is vital in us being able to sustain this.

"Please do not attend the surgery if you have any Covid symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has. If you have an appointment please wear a mask and use the hand gel provided at the front door."

It continued: "If you wish to contact the surgery please phone in the first instance. Our phones are busier than they have ever been, so please be patient if you do not get through straight away.

"Reception staff are all trained in identifying the best person for you to be appointed to.

"When appointed you will be telephone triaged by the clinician who will assess whether or not they can deal with your enquiry by phone, video call or if you need to come in to see them. If they assess you need seen in person they will arrange this.

"We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and we are doing our very best in very difficult times."

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed at an emergency Covid briefing today [December 17] that Omicron has now officially replaced Delta as the dominant strain in Scotland.

The First Minister has asked the public to stay at home as much as possible in the run up to Christmas.