A requirement for face masks to be worn in schools has been ruled out for the time being.
Potential use of face coverings in school buildings was reconsidered by an education sub-group for the Scottish Government, in light of several cases of Covid-19 among pupils.
Education Secretary John Swinney said use of face coverings would have a negative impact on communication and learning, but the matter would be kept under review.
Two Perthshire pupils – one at Oakbank Primary School, Perth, and another at Newhill Primary School, Blairgowrie – have tested positive for the virus, along with an adult connected with Kingspark School, Dundee.
Schoolchildren are also among clusters of cases in Lanarkshire and Glasgow, but the government said there remained no evidence of transmission within schools.
During Wednesday’s daily briefing, Mr Swinney said: “At my request, the Covid-19 sub-group on education and children’s issues has reviewed the advice on the use of face coverings in the light of the experience of school reopening in Scotland.
While face coverings are effective at reducing transmission of this virus, they also have some negative effects on communication and learning.”
Education Secretary John Swinney
“It noted that although school-aged pupils in Scotland have tested positive since schools have reopened, there is no evidence that transmission has happened within the school.
“The sub-group also emphasised the need to recognise face coverings as one of a package of measures, and not a mitigation that should be applied in isolation.
“While face coverings are effective at reducing transmission of this virus, they also have some negative effects on communication and learning.
“These risks, therefore, need to be kept in balance.”
He said scientific advice was that distancing between pupils and face coverings were not necessary in schools as long as prevalence remained low and other mitigations were in place.
However, he said the evidence would be kept under review by the subgroup and further advice provided to the education recovery group.
Union wants stronger advice
Teachers’ union the EIS had previously written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging the government to do more to make schools safe, including issuing stronger advice on face coverings where physical distancing is not possible.
General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “You cannot visit a museum without one but again schools are different?”
The union also called for 3,500 more teachers to be hired so class sizes could be reduced and distancing made possible.