Covid Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon confirms face masks in school rules and large lectures scrapped

By Sian Traynor

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that face coverings will remain compulsory for secondary school students as cases remain high throughout Scotland.

Despite coronavirus transmission appearing to level out across the country, the First Minister stated that a large rise in cases among school age children has shown they must be kept in place.

During the summer, the Scottish Government had said the rule would be introduced for the first six weeks of term following a review.

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However, speaking at Holyrood on Tuesday, the FM confirmed that there would be no change.

She said: "Given the high levels of infection still being experienced, the Advisory sub-group has advised that this requirement should remain in place until the October holidays, and be reviewed again then.

"I know how unpopular this is with many pupils and I understand why. But for now, it remains a prudent and necessary precaution."

With universities also welcoming back students throughout the country, it was announced that "large in person" lectures would not be permitted to go ahead.

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However, face-to-face learning on a small scale will be allowed at each college or universities discretion.

Sturgeon added: "We have been working closely with universities, colleges and the wider sector to make the return as safe as possible.

"As a precaution at this stage, colleges and universities won’t be holding large in person lectures for now.

"Instead, there will be a mix of online and in-person learning – with institutions themselves deciding the level of in-person teaching that they will offer during this term.

"In addition, physical distancing will remain in place on campuses and face coverings will be required in indoor public spaces."

It comes as 3,375 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Tuesday (September 14).


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