Nicola Sturgeon has announced that schools and nurseries in Scotland are likely to close by the end of this week.
During a press conference this afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon said people should not assume they will open again until the end of the summer term.
She said: ‘We will of course keep them closed for as long as we absolutely have to. But at this stage I cannot promise that they will reopen before the summer holidays.’
The First Minister also said: ‘More and more schools are approaching a point where they have lost too many staff to continue as normal.
‘We are working closely with schools and tomorrow the Deputy First Minister will set out in a statement to parliament the arrangements we are putting in place.
‘In particular, he will address key questions I know parents, pupils and teachers will have including what this will mean for vulnerable pupils, those receiving free school meals because we must not cut adrift vulnerable children.
‘Secondly what this means for children taking exams this year because we will not blight the life chances of our children.
‘And crucially what this means for key workers. We must ensure our doctors and nurses can still work. Lives are on the line if they cannot.’
Wales’ Education Minister Kirsty Williams said she was bringing forward the Easter break.
“Today’s decision will help ensure an orderly closure, so schools have time to prepare,” she said.
Childcare centres are expected to remain open until advice is given to close them, Ms Williams added.
More to follow…