Hospital visiting in Scotland will restart from April 26, the Health Secretary has said.
Jeane Freeman told the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Friday that, depending on the continued suppression of the virus, one visitor will be allowed per patient.
She said: “April 26 will not be a return to normal visiting, but it is I think an important step towards normality and will, I hope, be welcomed by health staff, by patients and by their loved ones.”
More funding will also be made available for digital visitation, Ms Freeman said, but no figure was provided.
She told the briefing that Scotland has recorded eight deaths from coronavirus and 655 positive tests in the past 24 hours.
This brings the death toll under this measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, to 7,554.
Ms Freeman said of the new positive tests 162 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, 138 in Lothian and 134 in Lanarkshire.
The daily test positivity rate is 2.9%, up from 2.7% on Thursday. There are 397 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down eight in 24 hours, and 35 patients are in intensive care, down three.
She also gave an update on vaccination figures, saying as of Friday morning 2,066,460 people in Scotland have received their first dose, up 43,458 on Thursday.
A further 9,335 people had a second dose, taking this total to 201,435.
She said 97% of those aged 65-69 have now received their first dose of the vaccine, 80% of those aged 60-64, 46% of 55-59 year old and 36% of people aged 50-54.