Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon issues warning over potential transmission 'around schools' if they reopen later in February

The First Minister said that the risk factor surrounding schools being open was not specifically the possibility of transmission inside the buildings, but “all of the activity that takes place around schools”.

Nicola Sturgeon says that if schools do begin a phased return later this month it is not a 'trigger' for others to start bending the rules.

Mr Sturgeon said that the phased return of pupils to school is not to be taken as a “trigger” for those who are currently working from home to go back to work, or for other people to assume that it is acceptable to meet up and break the rules.

She said: “If we are able to get schools back, even in a limited way, it is simply for young people and education, and we must all continue to abide by the other restrictions that will continue to be in place.”

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Cabinet will meet tomorrow to finalise the decision on whether any school pupils will be returning to in-person learning on February 22 as was previously discussed.

Ms Sturgeon said that she is “very, very keen” to go ahead with the phased reopening of schools if at all possible.

She added that the Cabinet will consider tomorrow if it is possible at this stage to potentially suggest “an indicative timetable for the next groups of pupils that are perhaps likely to return to school”.

This will not be immediate and Ms Sturgeon said that she is wary of raising expectations too high but will go into more detail at Parliament on Tuesday.

Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Fiona McQueen, warned parents to be aware of social distancing when the schools do reopen and reminded people that they must wear face coverings and make sure they are keeping things “as safe as possible”.

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