School face coverings stay as Sturgeon announces Scotland 'through worst' of Omicron

Face coverings will remain in classrooms but a decision is due before the end of the February break on whether this will continue. Credit: PA Images

Coronavirus restrictions such as wearing face coverings in schools and shops will remain in place, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The First Minister also said that people are still encouraged to take lateral flow tests before seeing others.

She told also MSPs today that Scotland was through the worst of the Omicron wave.

The First Minister said: "As well as reducing our own individual risk of getting Covid and therefore helping to stem transmission overall, these basic measures will also provide some reassurance for those who are at the highest risk of serious illness if they get Covid.

"It is important that everyone gets to benefit from a return to greater normality.

"So collective behaviours that could force those at highest risk into effective isolation while the rest of us get back to enjoying normal life would not be acceptable."

A decision about whether secondary school pupils will continue to have to wear face coverings in class will be made before pupils return after the February break.

The Scottish Government's education advisory group is meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue.

Scotland has recorded a further 14 deaths linked to coronavirus as well as 6,630 new confirmed cases.

The latest daily figures from the Scottish Government take the total number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 to 10,447.

The number of people in hospital with the virus on Monday was recorded as 950, down eight from the previous day.

The number of people in intensive care also fell from 23 on Sunday to 18 on Monday, according to the data.

Meanwhile 4,423,415 people in Scotland have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, with 4,137,747 having had two doses and 3,324,876 having received a third dose or booster jab.

"It seems reasonable, based on the data, to conclude that we are now through the worst of this wave of Omicron," the First Minister said.

Ms Sturgeon has said Scotland is "through the worst" of Omicron. Credit: PA Images

"That has enabled the removal of virtually all the additional measures that we introduced in December and a return to normality in much of everyday life."

Ms Sturgeon added: "We are on a good track at this stage. To stay on this track, though, continued care and caution remains necessary."