'No plans' for young people to repeat school year
Nicola Sturgeon has said there are no plans “at the moment” to ask young people to repeat a year of education as a result of school closures due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The First Minister said that the community transmission rate was still too high to reopen schools, but stressed that getting children back to school remained a priority.
In her daily briefing, Sturgeon said there were “cautious grounds for optimism that admissions to hospital are starting to tail off slightly”.
The number of positive cases reported yesterday was 752, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 172,953.
The First Minister confirmed that 2,016 people are currently in hospital with COVID, which is six more than yesterday, while 151 people are in intensive care, which is six fewer than yesterday.
There were also four additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,709.
She said there was “early evidence” that restrictions were working, adding: “But this is only happening because so many people are complying with these restrictions – and for us to maintain this progress at the moment, we must all continue to stick with it.”
Letters are now being sent out to those aged between 70 and 79 inviting them for their first dose of the vaccine. As of this morning, 415,402 people have already received their first dose.
Sturgeon said that because it is still unknown whether receiving the vaccine affects transmission, it is vital that people stick to the restrictions even if they have been vaccinated.
During the briefing, the FM also announced further support to the wedding industry.
“COVID restrictions have caused many couples to postpone their weddings or their wedding celebrations, and of course, the only weddings that have proceeded have been very small-scale affairs,” she said.
“For that reason, we announced targeted support for the wedding sector in December, and I'm pleased to confirm today that applications for support open on Thursday this week – and the size of the support fund is being increased by £10m. It's going from £15m to £25m.”