Nicola Sturgeon has said she is willing to “bust a gut” to ensure schools stay open amid a surge in cases of the Omicron Covid variant, and may ask adults to do more to stop the spread instead.
The First Minister was frank about the prospects of the new variant, which she said could become the dominant strain in Scotland in “days, not weeks”.
An evidence paper published by the Scottish Government also suggested cases could reach as many as 25,000 every day by December 20, if the worst possible scenario comes to pass.
The First Minister explicitly said further restrictions could not be ruled out during a coronavirus briefing on Friday, but despite the concerns over the new variant she pledged to do all she could to keep children in schools.
“Nobody wants that. I will bust a gut and do whatever – even if people hate me for asking adults to do more than they want to do – to keep schools open in that general sense.
“Of course, if there are outbreaks of infections in schools then there needs to be a response to that, but I’m very clear about the importance of minimising the disruption to children’s education.”
If some classes are asked to self-isolate as a result of an outbreak, that would serve to ensure the rest of the school can stay open, the First Minister added.
At the onset of the pandemic, schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK closed to all but the children of key workers and those who were deemed to be vulnerable.