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Coronavirus / Primary four to seven to return to school in mid-March

First minister Nicola Sturgeon.

ALL children in primary four to seven in Scotland will return to school full-time from 15 March, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

She gave the update to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon (Tuesday).

Primary one to three are already back in school as part of a phased return.

The phased return to secondary will see all pupils spend “some time” in school from 15 March to the Easter holidays, Sturgeon said.

Students in the senior phase of secondary school in S4-S6 who are taking national qualifications will have priority for face to face lessons in school.

Sturgeon said in response to a question about in-school provision resuming quicker in islands off the west cost of Scotland that local authorities will be given a “degree of flexibility” for secondary pupils returning after 15 March.

The first minister said all secondary pupils should be back in school full-time after the Easter holidays.

The parliament was also told that people will now be able to enter another house in order to support the welfare and wellbeing of a parent of a child who is under the age of one.

Prior to this people could only come into other houses for other essential purposes like care and childcare.

Sturgeon also told parliament that the government may be able to accelerate the exit from lockdown as a result of encouraging figures on coronavirus.

She said the vaccination programme and suppression of the virus is looking positive – but a “sensible” approach still must be taken with lifting restrictions.

Meanwhile, new guidance shows that it may be more difficult for areas of Scotland to drop down a tier once the levels system is reintroduced.

Due to absence of Covid cases, however, Shetland would be deemed ‘level zero’ at the moment.

This was also the case, though, when the levels system was introduced last year, and the national picture meant that Shetland was placed in level one.

Yet again Shetland recorded no new cases in today’s daily update.

The latest vaccine figures show that as of 1 March more than 9,000 people in Shetland had received their first dose.

All care homes in Shetland, meanwhile, have also resumed indoor visiting for up to two visits per resident per week, with up to two designated visitors.

Depute director of community health and social care Jo Robinson said: “This is welcome news, and feels like a huge step forward.

“Our teams have been working hard to ensure the safe return of visits to our care homes, and this will certainly go a long way towards supporting the wellbeing of residents, as well as their families and friends.”