Nicola Sturgeon has said she hopes to pause her “ shielding ” policy by the end of the month.

The First Minister also announced a further lifting of restrictions on a category of people who have been subject to the greatest coronavirus restrictions.

As part of the lockdown curbs introduced across the UK in March, people who were judged to be clinically at high risk of covid-19 were placed in a special shielded category.

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They were advised to self-isolate and minimise all interactions with others, which included not leaving home, for three months.

Some restrictions were eased earlier this month and Sturgeon announced a further loosening at her daily media briefing today.

From tomorrow, people who are shielding will be able to stay in holiday accommodation such as hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Non cohabiting couples will also be able to meet without physical distancing, even if one or both is shielding:

She also said: “We hope to be able to pause the need for shielding altogether at the end of this month.”