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by Andrew Learmonth
13 December 2021
Nicola Sturgeon 'not considering' closing schools early

Nicola Sturgeon 'not considering' closing schools early

Scotland’s schools will not close early, Nicola Sturgeon has said, despite demands from teachers to bring forward the Christmas holidays in a bid to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant. 

The First Minister is set to update MSPs on Tuesday with the latest data. Her cabinet are meeting beforehand to agree any new Covid measures. Health secretary Humza Yousaf has already said it is “inevitable” that tighter restrictions will need to be brought in.

Speaking to the BBC, Sturgeon said Omicron was "going much faster than anything we have encountered before", with case numbers doubling every two to three days. 

She said: "In my judgement, as well as speeding up the booster vaccination programme we need to slow down the virus while we do that.

"This has been going on for almost two years, people are thoroughly exhausted with it and they want to get on with their lives, so we will think carefully about anything that we are going to ask people to do.

"We will be proportionate, we will be as targeted as possible and we will be seeking to minimise the further impact on people's lives."

Over the weekend, Larry Flanagan, the general secretary of EIS, called on the government to “consider an early Christmas closure if a firebreak is needed to fend off a new wave of infection.”

Asked about the union’s call, Sturgeon said: "Any leader that stands and says 100 per cent that anything can be ruled out forever is not being straight with you, but we are not considering the closure of schools.

"Children have suffered disproportionately in this. The priority is to keep schools open and keep them open safely - I am not considering at this stage closing schools early or not reopening schools."

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