Nicola Sturgeon announces the news when she announces that Scotland’s lockdown will last at least until early March

Political reporter
@ Alan_McGuinness

The gradual return of students to the classroom in Scotland will begin on Monday, the first minister has confirmed

Nicola Sturgeon announced the news in a statement to the Scottish Parliament as she said the lockdown would last “at least” in early March and “possibly for a further period beyond”

She told MSPs the shutdown was working – with fewer COVID-19 patients in the hospital and in intensive care – but cautioned that “even a slight” relaxation of restrictions could lead to cases “again increase rapidly “

And Ms. Sturgeon said a return to “100% normal” was not possible anytime soon

She told the Scottish Parliament that some measures may need to remain in place, with “compromises” being needed to ease some restrictions

“We choose to use the currently very limited scope to get at least some children back to school – because education and children’s wellbeing are such a priority,” said the first minister

“But being able to get kids back into education can mean the rest of us live longer with some other limitations”

She warned: “If we open up too quickly to adhere to arbitrary dates, we risk rolling back progress”

“Indeed, due to the new, contagious variant, our exit from the lockdown should be even more cautious than last summer,” Ms. Sturgeon continued

“And second, it is probably unlikely for a while that 100% normalcy is possible. In a world where we cannot do everything right away, we have to decide what matters”

She said the government hopes to come up with a new roadmap to ease the lockdown next week, with a focus on dates rather than easing schedules

Ms. Sturgeon gave the MSPs an example of what to say and said she would likely advise Scots not to book any domestic or overseas holidays over Easter, but added that “stays” are dependent on summer of the data could be allowed

Education is the priority, she said, followed by increased family contact and the opening of a non-essential retail store, which would herald the beginning of a gradual reopening of the economy

At the schools, Ms. Sturgeon said that Primary 1 through Elementary 3 students on Dec. February will return, along with all children of school age and childcare as well as in the higher phase of secondary education

She said older students are only allowed to return to make sure the practical work essential to their qualifications has been completed

The first minister said that no further return to school would be possible until April 15 March would take place in order to have enough time to assess the impact of the return in phase one

And she warned parents not to socialize at the school gates for fear of spreading the virus, saying that returning to school for some students only as a “return to education only for children, not a return to more.” “Might be treated normal for the rest of us”

Ms. Sturgeon said earlier this month that student returns would be aided by an expansion of the tests, with older students and anyone working in schools or childcare facilities being routinely tested twice a week

She said 94% of people between the ages of 70 and 79 received the first dose of the vaccine, along with 58% of people between the ages of 65 and 69

“I want to thank everyone who planned and carried out the program and everyone who signed up for vaccination,” said Ms. Sturgeon

Scotland’s return flight date for schools is two weeks ahead of the possible date proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for schools to reopen in England

In Wales, children between the ages of three and seven return on December 22nd February also returned to class with some older children in vocational courses

In Northern Ireland, ministers will meet on Thursday to discuss a possible date for schools to reopen

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World News – UK – COVID-19: Schools return to Scotland gradually begins on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon announced