Pubs could close for longer to keep schools open

Decisions about lockdowns will be made with the priority of keeping schools open, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

S5 and S6 pupils at St Columba's High School in Gourock, Inverclyde, wear protective face masks during their history lesson.
S5 and S6 pupils at St Columba's High School in Gourock, Inverclyde, wear protective face masks during their history lesson.

The First Minister said that while the Scottish Government was “not actively planning to close schools”, she would not rule out anything “definitively”.

Speaking at yesterday’s daily coronavirus briefing, she was pressed on an answer she had given earlier to MSPs that schools were not “untouchable” and asked what contingency plans the government was putting in place in case pupils had to learn at home again in the future.

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Scots schools not 'untouchable', says Nicola Sturgeon

“Just because we’re not ruling something out, doesn't mean we're planning for it to happen," she said. “There are all sorts of contingency plans, but our clear objective is to keep schools open as long as we possibly can because overall that is better for young people than having to be off school again.

"Young people have already lost months of normal schooling and most people think that's not a good thing and we should try and avoid it happening again. but that doesn't mean we're oblivious to transmission and safety in and around schools. But when making our decisions if our objective is to keep schools open and suppress the virus, that may mean the rest of us, the adults, will have to live with slightly more restrictions.

"Yes, we might have our ability to go to the pub restricted for longer in order to keep schools open. So as far as we can we will try to design our other decisions in a way that facilitates that.”

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