Scots will be able to visit 39 countries without the need to quarantine but Spain is not on the list.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said as she rejected some countries on the UK Government’s list of ‘air bridges’.

Speaking at her daily briefing on the virus, the Scottish First Minister said the 14-day quarantine restriction will be lifted on July 10 for people returning or visiting from 39 countries with a low prevalence of Covid-19, including Germany, Norway and Malta.

Other countries which have a lower or not significantly higher prevalence of the virus than Scotland – including France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland – will also be included on the list.

But she said the restriction will not be lifted for Spain or Serbia.

She said the “difficult decision” had been driven by the evidence.

“I know how many people from Scotland enjoy travelling to Spain and I know how much we love welcoming Spanish tourists,” she said. “My hope is these restrictions can be relaxed soon, and possibly very soon.”

She said there will not be “a way around” the quarantine rules by flying into English airports, because Scottish health officials will have the details of those who are travelling back into the UK.

Ms Sturgeon also emphasised that those who travel to Scotland from countries on the approved list will still have to adhere to the latest social distancing and hygiene measures.

And she warned quarantine measures could be reimposed if virus cases begin to spike again.

She said the prevalence of the virus in the Scottish population is currently 28 in every 100,000 people.

“We’re not yet at the stage where we can say we’ve virtually eliminated the virus in the community, but that prize is clearly attainable and brings with it the prospect of a brighter future and more sustainable recovery,” she said.

But she warned the prevalence of the virus is higher elsewhere, including in the rest of the UK where 180 people per 100,000 have the virus.

She added: “This is relevant to the decisions that we take in relation to quarantine.”

Ms Sturgeon also gave the latest Covid-19 figures for Scotland.

She said a total of 2,490 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus, up by one from 2,489 on Tuesday, and 18,309 people have tested positive for the virus, up by seven from 18,302.

The National Records of Scotland earlier revealed 4,173 people have died with Covid-19 under its weekly measure, which records all deaths with a suspected or probable case of the virus involved.

Also speaking during the briefing, Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced the easing of restrictions for those advised to shield during the pandemic because of a pre-existing medical condition.

The Scottish Government had initially asked people to shield until July 31 but said there would be periodical easing of restrictions throughout July.

From Friday, those who are shielding will no longer require to distance themselves from those they live with.

Those in single parent households or who live on their own will also be able to form an extended household group in the same way as the rest of the population can, including being able to visit someone in their home or stay overnight without having to socially distance.

Ms Freeman also said those who are in this category will also be able to book holiday accommodation or go to a second home, provided these do not have shared facilities with other households.

However, the Health Secretary “strongly advised” this is only done with people in the same household or as part of an extended household.