Schools will remain closed until at least mid-February the First Minister has announced.
Addressing Parliament earlier today, Nicola Sturgeon, also confirmed that the current lockdown restrictions will remain in place and be reviewed against on February 2.
The decision comes after a Cabinet review this morning to discuss pandemic strategy.
Ms Sturgeon said “We cannot afford to see the rate of infections start to rise again – which from such a high baseline, it could all too easily do if we start to interact more than we are doing just now.
“It is for all these reasons that the Cabinet decided this morning to maintain the restrictions which are currently in place.
“That means that the lockdown restrictions – including the strict stay at home requirement – will remain in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February.”
“It is of course a priority for all of us to get children back to normal schooling as soon as possible.
“I know how much work teachers, school leaders and other staff are doing to support home learning and I am very grateful to them for that.
“But I also know just how challenging and stressful this situation is for families.
“And above all, I understand how difficult, distressing and damaging it is for children and young people to have their education and their normal interactions with friends so disrupted.
“However, our reluctant judgment is that community transmission of the virus is too high – and is likely to remain so for the next period – to allow a safe return to school on 1 February.
“The Cabinet decided today that – except for vulnerable and key worker children – school and nursery premises will remain closed until mid-February.”