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Education / Youngest children return to in-person education

First minister Nicola Sturgeon will also provide an outline on gradually easing general restrictions later today

PRIMARY one to three children are back to school today (Tuesday) on a full-time basis as restrictions on education begin to be lifted.

This also includes preschool children in early learning and childcare settings.

Nationally Scotland’s youngest children were allowed back yesterday (Monday) as part of a phased reintroduction of education but a local holiday meant that council run services are only returning today.

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There will also be a part-time return from today, on a very limited basis, for senior phase secondary pupils to allow completion of essential practical work for national qualification courses.

Schools and nurseries in Shetland had only been open since the Christmas holidays for children of keyworkers and vulnerable bairns. Remote learning is in force for the majority of school pupils.

It comes as first minister Nicola Sturgeon prepares to outline how the country will gradually emerge from current restrictions.

She will give an update to the Scottish Parliament just after lunchtime today.

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A new strategic framework will be published which will detail how the government will use tools such as restrictions, vaccination and test and protect to restore, “on a phased and sustainable basis, greater normality to everyday lives”.

It will set out an indicative order of priority and proposed phases, with the Scottish Government saying that the plan of action is to “firstly gradually ease current level four restrictions and then, when it is safe to do so, return to more geographically variable levels when all or parts of the country may move to lower levels with more of the economy opening up”.

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The immediate priorities will continue to be the return of young people to education, followed by sports activities for young people and limited social interaction for adults in level four areas.

“The strategic framework sets out as far as possible at this stage how we will approach the gradual easing of restrictions,” the first minister said.

“We will be able to give more detail and clarity in the weeks ahead as we make further progress both on suppressing the virus and vaccinating the population, and as we understand more about the impact of vaccination.”

Shetland’s numbers continue to look positive, with no coronavirus cases recorded in the isles since 8 February.

This followed a significant outbreak over the festive period which more than doubled Shetland’s tally of Covid cases.

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