Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP

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Nicola Sturgeon remains optimistic that Scotland can enter phase two of lockdown easing on Thursday, which will again, loosen some of the guidelines, allowing pub outside areas to open up and some families to meet indoors.

Education Secretary John Swinney has said that it is ‘unlikely’ that schools will return to normal next year.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Latest updates on COVID-19 in Scotland

Last updated: Thursday, 01 January, 1970, 01:00

Key Events

  • Schools in Scotland ’unlikely’ to return to normal next year said John Swinney
  • Nicola Surgeon remains ’optimistic’ that the country can enter phase two on Thursday
  • Edinburgh Festival gets Scottish Government cash lifeline so it can return next year
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No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours but the latest figures show more than 18,000 people have now tested positive for the virus.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed at the daily coronavirus briefing that the number of deaths are always lower at weekends.

While just 29 more positive coronavirus tests have been registered, new data means the total number of recorded cases has risen by more than 2,000 to 18,030.

Ms Sturgeon said that from Monday the Scottish Government will provide daily figures for all tests in the country, including those done at UK Government-run facilities, such as a drive-through testing sites.

Since the beginning  of the outbreak, 15,687 confirmed case of Covid-19 have come from tests done by NHS Scotland, she said, with 2,343 from tests conducted at UK Government sites - a total of 18,030.

There are 870 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of 94 on yesterday, and 18 people are in intensive care, an increase of three.

Ms Sturgeon also spoke about plans for Scottish youngsters to return to schools on August 11.

She said both parents and pupils will be "anxious" about the impact the coronvirus crisis would have on schooling.

There should "no doubt about the priority I and the whole Government attaches to making sure our young people do not lose out on education or have their live chances damaged", she said.

Ms Sturgeon said ministers expect councils to put in place arrangements that "absolutely maximise" the amount of time youngsters spend in school.

"The Scottish Government will be scrutinising council plans very closely," she said.

"And where we conclude all possible steps have not been taken to maximise face-to-face teaching and learning we will ask councils to reconsider and revise their plans.

"Where there are genuine issues of resources the Scottish Government will work with councils to address those."

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