Return of all pupils to school confirmed

Coronavirus

Published: Tuesday, 6th April 2021

The First Minister has confirmed the full-time return of all school pupils after the Easter break, with the exception of children who are shielding.

In the Scottish Borders young people will return on Monday 19 April. Secondary school pupils had been carrying out blended learning before the holidays, with some time in school and some at home. 

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“We have already written to all parents and carers to set out the arrangements for the return to full-time learning and will now look forward to welcoming everyone back from 19 April. We have been working hard to make sure our plans align closely with national guidance and will continue to have all necessary risk assessments and safety measures in place across our schools. 

“I’d once again like to thank all pupils, parents, carers and staff for their ongoing co-operation and flexibility.”

Updated COVID-19 guidance

Meanwhile, residents of the Borders are now permitted to travel within our own local authority area for non-essential reasons, and yesterday saw the easing of a wider range of current restrictions including: 

  • resumption of outdoor contact sport for 12-17 year olds 
  • return of college students within priority groups 
  • reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail 
  • extending the list of retail permitted to include homeware shops, garden centres, hairdressers and barbers, amongst others

Dr Tim Patterson, Director of Public Health

“It is encouraging that we continue to make the progress required to move forward with the scheduled routemap, however it remains vitally important to remember that this route back to normality remains dependent on suppressing COVID-19. 

“Case numbers are still low in the Borders, however the virus is still present, dangerous and even more infectious than it was previously. Other local authority areas have a higher prevalence of the virus than us and it is therefore imperative that we follow the rules and do not travel outside of the Borders, unless it is for permitted and essential purposes.

“These restrictions also apply to travel across the Border into England. As England moves ahead with further easing of measures next Monday I am urging Borders residents not to travel there unless for permitted and essential purposes. Although the thought of a meal or drink outside a pub or restaurant, or a browse around a clothes shop may be tempting, this is not permitted.

“Our journey out of lockdown must be a careful and cautious one. So please remain patient and stick with the rules in order to continue protecting each other and our local health and social care services. 

“And when you are out and about, even if you have received one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccination, remember the FACTS advice.”

FACTS:
•    Face coverings in enclosed spaces
•    Avoid crowded places
•    Clean hands and surfaces regularly
•    Two metre distancing; and
•    Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms