RESIDENTS who have been shielding to help protect them from the virus can now get out and about as shielding rules are eased.

From today (March 31), anyone classed as 'clinically vulnerable' has the option of visiting public places so long as they maintain social distancing guidelines.

While shielding was never compulsory, many people with underlying health conditions such as COPD, asthma or cancer were advised to stay at home as they are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Due to the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, those shielding are now able to leave their home, should they feel safe enough to do so.