The reopening date for Scottish schools has been announced after five months (Pictures: PA/GETTY)

Schools in Scotland have been given the go-ahead to reopen full-time next month as the country has recorded no new deaths from coronavirus in the past fortnight.

Nicola Sturgeon said pupils can start returning from their summer holidays on August 11 and all should be back full-time by August 18 ‘at the latest’.

Despite the move, the First Minister warned that the country is not yet ready to move to the fourth and final phase of relaxing its lockdown and many sectors should expect to remain closed until well into September. 

Announcing the latest changes, Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament it was a ‘moral and educational imperative’ that children are brought back to school as soon as possible. 

She added: ‘In fact, a key reason for our cautious approach to lockdown over the last two months and over the next few weeks, is a determination to drive the virus down and keep prevalence low, so that schools can reopen in August.’

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

Scottish schools were closed to most pupils at the end of March as coronavirus struck with pupils learning online until the end of the summer term on July 3.

Ms Sturgeon said the prevalence of coronavirus in Scotland is now at ‘very low levels’, saying it was estimated that last week 300 people were infectious. She also confirmed no coronavirus patients have died in Scotland for the past fortnight.

More: Coronavirus

The latest modelling shows the R number – the average number of people infected by each person with Covid-19 – remains below one, she said, but despite this ‘substantial’ and ‘hard-earned’ progress the virus is still circulating meaning the country has to remain in phase three. 

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘A move to phase four would require us to be satisfied that the virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public health. Unfortunately that is far from the case.’

She warned that this could continue beyond the next review point of lockdown in three weeks’ time but did start giving some indicative dates for the return of some sectors which are still closed.

These include live events outdoors with physical distancing and restricted numbers from August 24 and organised outdoor contact sports from the same date.

Some indoor facilities, such as bingo halls, could also open again on August 24, as well as funfairs and the resumption of driving lessons.

Ms Sturgeon added: ‘We don’t currently expect to implement any other changes before September 11.’

She said non-essential offices should remain closed until at least September 14, perhaps later. This is also the indicative date for reopening indoor pools, gyms and indoor entertainment venues for events such as concerts – but not nightclubs.

A total of 2,491 patients in Scotland have died after testing positive for coronavirus, no change since July 16, Ms Sturgeon said.

She added 18,597 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up 17 from 18,580 the day before. There are 260 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. Of these, two patients are in intensive care.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Source: Metro