Covid Scotland update: Nicola Sturgeon encourages parents to continue sending children to school despite Omicron surge
Nicola Sturgeon has told parents to keep sending their children to school despite the continued and rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The First Minister was asked what she would say to parents who were worried about sending their children to school ahead of the Christmas break following her Covid-19 update at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
It came after the SNP leader confirmed she would now ask the public to limit the number of households they mix with prior to Christmas, amid additional funding for businesses and to support those self-isolating.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I would encourage patients to continue to send their children to school.
"I absolutely understand the anxiety parents will have at this time. It’s important that Test and Protect with local health protection teams work on a risk based and targeted way to ensure where there are cases identified, the right approach has been taken to advice for self-isolation.
"There are also other mitigations in place in schools, particularly in secondary schools around face covering and the requirements to take lateral flow tests regularly.
"I know these mitigations have been controversial in the past, but they are really important.”
Ms Sturgeon said additional measures in schools were likely to be recommended by a key advisory group later on Tuesday, to be ready to be in place for the start of the new school term in January.
She said: “As I said in my statement, the education advisory subgroup is meeting today to look at additional measures that we may advise schools to put in place for the new term.
"I’m not going to pre-empt what these recommendations will be, but I expect they will include further advice on ventilation, for example, because we know how important that is and as I said earlier on, we will ensure that the advice is with schools by the end of this week.
"I understand, completely understand the anxiety, but I know that parents will also be anxious about the disruption to children’s education and we want to work in a way that minimises that as far as possible during this next difficult phase.”