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‘Glaring inconsistencies’ over SNP’s Covid rules in schools

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised “glaring inconsistencies” over the SNP Government’s Covid rules in schools.

They highlighted that face masks will remain mandatory in schools while they have been deemed unnecessary for nightclubs and other premises.

Education spokesman Oliver Mundell MSP said the SNP’s decisions mean Scotland’s schools are at the “back of the queue” for the relaxation of Covid rules and pupils were being treated “unfairly” as “second-class citizens.”

He added that pupils would miss out and have their learning disrupted by ongoing Covid restrictions in schools, while the rest of the country is on a faster road back to normality.

The SNP Government’s own Advisory Sub-Group on Education said in late June that face coverings “should be removed in classrooms when possible.”

Instead, at least three months after the government received that advice, pupils will still be wearing face masks in schools.

The Scottish Conservatives have called for the removal of face masks in schools for several weeks. The party has welcomed changes to self-isolation guidance for young people, which they had demanded in mid-July.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education, Oliver Mundell MSP, said: “At the height of the pandemic, there was widespread consensus that schools should come first when Covid rules were relaxed.

“Now, from the SNP’s latest Covid announcement, it seems that Scotland’s schools have gone to the back of the queue.

“After a year of disrupted learning, young people need a speedy return to normality. They deserve to once again get a normal learning and social experience.

“Instead, pupils will be wearing face masks in schools and missing out on typical events, long after restrictions have been removed in other settings.

“It’s right that face mask use in hospitality venues and other premises is reviewed and relaxed over time, in line with public health data.

“What the public can’t stomach are the glaring inconsistencies in many of the SNP Government’s decisions.

“People, especially parents, have been left baffled and frustrated by the lack of consistent logic. How can face mask rules be relaxed in nightclubs while they remain mandatory in schools?

“Under the SNP’s current plans, school pupils will be left behind as the country gets back to normal. They are being treated unfairly as second-class citizens, when they should be the first to have their lives returned to normal.”