The first minister is facing renewed calls from Conservatives to ditch face mask rules for pupils in Scottish schools as she prepares for another coronavirus update at Holyrood.
It follows reports experts had suggested the rules could be changed within three weeks.
However, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said there is still a need for them, and the EIS teaching union is concerned about pupil and teacher safety while Omicron continues to spread.
Our recent poll found 88% of readers do not want school pupils to have to continue to wear face masks either.
Children ‘all but forgotten about’
Oliver Mundell MSP, the Scottish Conservatives’ spokesman for education, says school children are “all but forgotten”.
He said: “The SNP cannot keep ignoring the weight of argument against face masks in classrooms.
“Education experts are clear that face masks in classrooms have a negative impact on learning, especially for those children with extra needs, and scientific experts are in agreement that it’s safe for them to go.
“So there is no excuse for this restriction remaining in place, and Nicola Sturgeon should lift it immediately.
“Pupils, teachers and parents are desperate for a return to normal learning after two years of disruption, so it’s time the first minister listened to her own experts.
“With curbs being eased across the country this week, under the SNP school kids remain all but forgotten as ministers continue to drag their heels at the expense of our children’s education.”
Hospitality restrictions eased
The first minister’s coronavirus statement is due at 2.20pm on Tuesday January 25, and will be the first update since restrictions imposed on hospitality last month were eased.
On Monday January 17 the restrictions for only 100 people at indoor standing events, up to 200 people at indoor seated events, and up to 400 people outdoors was dropped.
And on Monday January 24, the ban on amateur indoor contact sports was lifted and nightclubs were allowed to reopen.
The rule for table service only and one-metre distancing between tables in hospitality has also been dropped and groups from more than three households can now meet up.