School Covid rules may be strengthened after pupils test positive

The prospect of pupils being forced to wear face masks on school buses and a "greater emphasis" on social distancing in schools will be considered, MSPs have been told.

John Swinney will seek clinical advice on face masks
John Swinney will seek clinical advice on face masks

Education Secretary John Swinney said the emergence of positive Covid tests among school pupils was "regrettable", but said transmission did not take place in the classrooms, but during "out of school activities."

Shetland MP Beatrice Wishart said young people are used to wearing face masks in shops and buses.

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"Will the Scottish Government now mandate the wearing of face coverings on school transport too?" she asked Mr Swinney at Holyrood today.

The Deputy First Minister pledged that ministers will continue to review the guidance in place fo schools to ensure it is "appropriate for the challenges that we face."

"The EIS have written to the Government with the suggestion about face coverings," he added.

"We will take further clinical advice in relation to that point. Further discussions will be held on that point by the education recovery group which is responsible for the introduction of that guidance."

Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said he has heard from teachers who want social distancing to have a "greater emphasis" and face coverings to be the expectation inside classrooms.

Mr Swinney said: "The substantive point Mr Harvie raises is one that I hope I've adequately set out to Parliament we are considering.

"There will be arguments about whether the measures are appropriate at the present moment. We've sought clinical advice, we will continue seek clinical advice to inform that judgements that we make."

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