As concerns grow over the emergence of the new Omicron variant, Dundee City Council has said is it “closely monitoring” the situation in relation to schools.
When asked whether schools could close early for Christmas due to concerns, a spokesman for the local authority said the council will follow Scottish Government guidance.
Neighbouring Angus Council, Perth and Kinross Council and Fife Council, all said the same thing, noting there were no current plans to close schools early and revert to remote learning.
However Nicola Sturgeon said last week that school restrictions were “under review” as she announced six cases of the new variant had been discovered in Scotland.
In England, emergence of the Omicron variant has forced the Department of Education to tighten rules around facemasks in schools there.
Facemasks in secondary schools have always been required in Scotland, however the tightening of rules down south has led to further questions around school restrictions here.
Two schools in East Lothian have reportedly partially closed in favour of remote learning, due to Covid related staff absences.
Local Covid figures
The latest data available showed that on November 23 there were 61 Dundee pupils off school with Covid-related illness.
In other areas those figures were; 67 in Perth and Kinross; 101 in Angus; and 298 in Fife.
The number of pupils in self isolation on November 23 due to Covid are; 213 in Dundee; 255 in Perth and Kinross; 285 in Angus; and 620 in Fife.
While the number of pupils absent with Covid illnesses has dropped since its spike in September, figures in relation to pupils self isolating has remained relatively consistent – disrupting these pupils’ education.
School staff absences show there are 75 isolating or with Covid in Angus; 72 in Dundee; 64 in Fife; and 57 in Perth and Kinross.
Will our schools close early for Christmas?
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “The city council is closely monitoring the situation and will follow guidance issued nationally by the Scottish Government.
“We would remind families and pupils that it is important that we can keep everyone safe in our schools.
“Steps such as hand hygiene, the wearing of face coverings by secondary pupils, unless exempt, and regular testing are vital in this effort.”
Neighbouring Angus Council spokesman said: “We are not considering early closure at this time,” while a spokeswoman for Fife Council said: “No decisions have been taken on this yet.”
And a spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council: “We will continue to follow guidance from the Scottish Government.”