New reopening dates for Scotland announced

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

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The First Minister has confirmed today that children will return to schools full time from August 11.

There will be quick access to testing for symptomatic pupils and £30 million to recruit new teachers, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs today.

A further £30 million will also be available as part of a £50 million education recovery fund for local authorities.

It aims to support cleaning, facilities management, school transport and other issues vital in ensuring a safe return to school, she said.

Scotland will remain in phase three of the route map out of lockdown, MSPs were told.

Reopening dates for indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports courts, including dance schools, will be reviewed in three weeks’ times to see if they can be brought forward.

Shielding will officially pause from Saturday, August 1, meaning those who have been shielding to protect themselves can now follow the advice for the general public.

Routine eye care services can resume within community optometry practices and in patients’ own homes from Monday.

Urgent dental care involving aerosols may begin in practices for NHS patients from August 17.

The First Minister said Scotland was in a ‘better position’ than she had dared hope last month, but the situation remained ‘fragile’.

She said: ‘If we are not careful now, then in two or three weeks we could easily be facing some of the issues here in Scotland that we are currently seeing around the world.

‘The two changes I have announced – on schools and shielding – are very significant, and we need to see if there has been any impact from changes that have already taken place.

‘It is important, in particular, that we allow the impact of reopening our schools to be assessed before we proceed with further major changes.

‘Caution remains essential. We want to open up society and the economy as soon as we safely can, but we do not want to have to reimpose restrictions. That start-stop pattern seen in other countries is potentially more harmful to the economy, and our health and wellbeing.

‘Do not drop your guard now. Every single time one of us breaches the rules, we give the virus a chance to spread. If we allow complacency to creep in now, it will – without exaggeration – be deadly.’

Confirmed dates

Pause in shielding advice – August 1.
Relax certain restrictions on some support groups and services and for sports coaches, following relevant guidance – August 3.
Routine eye care services can be provided within community optometry practice and in patients’ own homes – August 3.
Children to return to school full time – August 11.

Some schools may operate a phased return with all children back by August 18.

Indicative date of Monday, August 24

Live outdoor events, with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, restricted numbers and following guidance.

Organised outdoor contact sport for all ages, following guidance from relevant sports bodies.

Bingo halls, snooker/pool halls and indoor bowling, with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and guidance.

Funfairs (static and travelling), following guidance.

Amusement arcades and casinos, with enhanced hygiene and following guidance.

Driving lessons can resume, following guidance.

Indicative date of Monday September 14

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports courts, with physical distancing and enhanced hygiene (to be kept under review in case earlier date feasible).

Soft play, with enhanced hygiene and following guidance.

Indoor live events, with physical distancing, restricted numbers and following guidance.

Theatres, live music/concert halls and other indoor entertainment venues, with physical distancing requirements (nightclubs not included).

Limited reopening of stadiums, following guidance and with options for testing on earlier dates where agreed with government.