SCHOOLS kids will be forced to wear face masks in classrooms in high risk areas in Scotland, new guidance has revealed.
Parents will also have to cover up when they pick up and drop off their kids after Nicola Sturgeon brought in her new five levels of lockdown.
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Ms Sturgeon's five levels of region lockdowns mimic Boris Johnson's three tiered system but the highest levels have hefty extra measures.
Almost all of Scotland, apart from a handful of local areas, are in at least Level Three restrictions.
And new guidance says for Level 3 and 4 "all staff and pupils should wear a face covering in classrooms during lessons in the senior phase."
Kids who live in both Edinburgh, Glasgow and another 17 local authorities will be forced to follow the new rules on face masks.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the changes were necessary after fresh scientific advice noting an "upsurge" in coronavirus cases among teens.
And he said adults in ALL areas would have to wear masks if they can't safely social distance.
Mr Swinney said: "Keeping schools open remains our priority but that can only be the case if schools are safe.
"There have been tremendous efforts applied by staff and pupils to ensure this is the case and I thank them all for their efforts.
"We constantly review the guidance on school openings along with our local authority partners, trade unions, parental representatives and other stakeholders to ensure we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure our schools are safe.
"This strengthened guidance, produced in light of updated scientific and health advice, adds to the health mitigations that have been in place since schools opened in August."
He added: "It is vital that all the measures are followed rigorously in schools.
"Doing that – together with the collective efforts of all of us across wider society — will help to ensure that schools can safely remain open."
The new rules
- Face coverings to be worn in classrooms, bathrooms, communal areas and corridors by students and staff in Level 3 and 4 areas Parents picking up and dropping off their kids will need to wear a mask in all levels
- Adults should cover up in any situation where they cannot keep a social distance from other adults or children
- Kids over the age of 5 must wear a mask on dedicated school transport
The Scottish Government guidance also states parents must wear face coverings during drop-off and pick-up times. and when visiting schools.
And if areas are thrown into Level 4, kids who have been told to shield will be sent home from schools again.
Ms Sturgeon backed down from imposing the toughest Level 4 conditions on North and South Lanakshire councils yesterday.
But the Level 3 restrictions are still punishing, and people living in those areas won't be allowed to travel outside of their council areas except for "essential reasons".
Even more kids could be forced to cover up while trying to learn, as Ms Sturgeon warned Scotland could be facing for a national lockdown under Level 4 restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon said these toughest curbs could be slapped on all Scots if case rates start to rise or if the NHS begins to hit its capacity.
Pubs and restaurants are not able to serve alcohol under draconian Level 3 or 4 restrictions.
And those living under Level 2 rules can only buy booze indoors if it is served with a "main meal", and there will be curfews of 8pm.
Older students in high risk areas in England also have to wear masks – but only in communal areas.
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