Coronavirus: Scottish schools to fully reopen from 11 August" width="976" height="549">
Pupils will not have to maintain physical distancing from each other when schools reopen in Scotland
Scotland's schools have been given the go-ahead to reopen from 11 August by the country's first minister.Guidance issued to councils said children should "return to school as quickly and as safely as possible".Nicola Sturgeon said she expected all pupils to be back in class full time from 18 August "at the very latest".The first minister also announced an end to shielding, but said "minimal" other changes would be made.She said Scotland could remain in "phase three" of the government's route map out of lockdown for some time to come.
Live: Latest on coronavirus in Scotland
Coronavirus in Scotland: What can we do, and whenMs Sturgeon said there was a "moral and educational imperative that we get children back to school as soon as is safely possible".Some councils can opt for a "phased return over the first few days" of the new term, which begins on 11 August, but the first minister said "we expect all pupils to be at school full time from 18 August at the very latest".
Nicola Sturgeon outlined the plans for education in a Holyrood statement
Guidance issued to councils says physical distancing will not be enforced between pupils, although secondary schools will be expected to adjust the layout of classrooms and the flow in corridors "where possible" to keep older children apart.Teachers will be expected to maintain a 2m (6ft 6in) distance where possible, but the wearing of face coverings will not be enforced, with this "left to the judgement of individuals".A range of "extra precautions" will also be put in place to help schools operate safely, including extra cleaning and hand hygiene requirements and "quick access to testing" for anyone who develops symptoms.Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that shielding for advice for people who are most at risk from Covid-19 would be paused from 1 August, although she said few other changes could be made immediately.She set out indicative dates for a range of other changes in future, which could see bingo halls, pool halls and funfairs allowed to reopen from 24 August.Swimming pools and indoor gyms may be allowed to resume business from 14 September, and a limited reopening of stadiums for outdoor events may be permitted from that date.Ms Sturgeon said: "I know how difficult this situation is for those sectors and activities who are facing a long wait before they can resume."We do not take these decisions lightly - but at present, we are not confident that we can restart all of these activities safely within a shorter timescale. Doing so could risk a resurgence of the virus and undermine our ability to get children back to school."
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Scotland Education
Coronavirus lockdown measures
Scottish Parliament
Scottish government
Nicola Sturgeon
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