Pupils are being urged to take lateral flow tests twice a week to help limit the spread of Covid-19.
In an update to parliament today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said schools are facing a “challenging” few weeks as pupils return to classrooms after the winter break.
Schools in Dundee, Perth and Kinross and Fife will return tomorrow, with Angus pupils due back on Monday January 10.
The latest figures show a total of 16,103 new positive cases have been registered across Scotland in the latest 24-hour period.
“Next few weeks will be challenging”
Addressing parliament, the First Minister said: “Our priority is to keep schools open and to minimise further disruption to education but, with community transmission high, I know the next few weeks will be challenging for pupils, staff and parents.
“All secondary school children are asked to take a lateral flow test on the night before or on the morning of the first day back and thereafter to test twice a week.
“Staff in all educational and early year settings are asked to take a lateral flow just before starting back to work and in line with broader advice after that.”
What rules have changed?
Nicola Sturgeon also outline changes to self-isolation rules which she said would help ease the pressure on schools.
Under updated guidance close contacts of positive cases who are fully vaccinated (three jags) or under 18 will no longer have to self-isolate. Instead they will have to do a daily lateral flow test for seven days.
The isolation period for those who test positive has been reduced to seven days providing they don’t have a fever and record two negative lateral flow results.
Figures from the last full week of term before the winter break showed that more than 2,700 pupils in Tayside and Fife were in quarantine because they were identified as a close contact of a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The full Scottish Government’s guidance on keeping schools safe can be found here.