Nicola Sturgeon rules out schools in Scotland reopening on full-time basis before August

Nicola Sturgeon has said school pupils in Scotland won’t be returning to the classroom on a full-time basis before August.

Speaking at her daily briefing from the Scottish Government's HQ in Edinburgh on Friday, the First Minister said: “It is a reasonable thing for me to say right now - bearing in mind these decisions have not been taken in any final sense.

“But it is not going to be the case that schools are back to normal in any way, shape or form this side of the summer holidays.

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“We are of course discussing whether it is possible for any pupils to go back in that time-frame, but if it is - and we haven't concluded that yet - it's likely to be on a very limited basis."

Schools are unlikely to fully reopen in Scotland until August.

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Ms Sturgeon also said that while she was "very keen" to get the economy moving again, social interactions had to be considered "carefully".

"A life where you go to work but stay locked down with no family interaction for the rest of the time is not one many of us, if any of us, would enjoy.

"Given that we are likely to have for quite a while to come very limited room for manoeuvre on that - and I want to stress that that is the case - we will need to get these balances as right as possible."

For that reason, she said the Scottish Government was paying "close attention" to ideas members of the public are putting forward on how restrictions could be eased.

Ms Sturgeon said polling showed "widespread endorsement" for her Government's approach to dealing with the virus.

She said 84% of people agreed with a "slow and gradual lifting of restrictions" while 82% agreed that before any further changes are made to the lockdown the impact of any changes that have already been made should be assessed.

Ms Sturgeon added that 86% of Scots agreed that decisions on when and how to lift restrictions "must be based on saving lives and protecting the NHS".

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