Sturgeon monitors nations where schools may reopen

Scotland's first minister looks at prospect of reopening schools but highlights the dangers of doing so too soon

Henry Hepburn

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Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said today that she is monitoring other countries where there are plans to relax coronavirus lockdowns, including the possibility of reopening schools.

In her daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said she was weighing up whether there were "any elements" of the lockdown in Scotland where it "would be safe to start to release even before you released all of these [lockdown] measures for example, could you see schools go back earlier than the measures generally being lifted, could you see some businesses going back, some shops reopening?"

She added that "you start to see from some countries that these are the kind of things that are being thought about there as well".

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However, she also warned that "we need to be very careful and considered about how we judge the impact" and whether "some of these things would lead too quickly and dramatically to an increase in the virus again".

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Earlier in the briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: "Asking schools to close a few weeks ago was without any doubt one of the most difficult decisions I've had to take as first minister, because I knew then and I know now just how disruptive this is to the lives of children and young people.

"But that has been made much easier thanks to the cooperation of our young people, and I want to thank all of you who might be watching today."

She added: "But I know that this situation is still extremely tough for you, and it really is OK sometimes not to feel OK."

Ms Sturgeon said it was "more important than ever" to be aware of the impact on mental health of being online, and that on Friday a new digital resource  called Mind Yer Time  would be launched to help children "learn about the healthy use of screens and social media". She said the Scottish Youth Parliament and Children's Parliament had been working on the resource.

She added: "I hope this will be really valuable at this tough and challenging time."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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