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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from us here on BBC Scotland's live page, on Thursday 16 July 2020.

    Here's a reminder of today's headlines:

    Teachers may not have to wear face coverings if they can keep 2m away from pupils and other staff
    Image caption: Teachers may not have to wear face coverings if they can keep 2m away from pupils and other staff

    Finally, the first minister confirmed she was to scale back the daily coronavirus briefings to three days a week over the next fortnight.

    So we'll be back on Tuesday with our live page. Until then, take care and stay safe.

  2. Schools ready to embrace 100% return with extra hygiene measures

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Parents and pupils queue

    No assembly, no school shows or choirs, no large groups and no parents in school buildings. That's the future envisaged when pupils return on 11 August, according to one Edinburgh headmaster.

    But Rod Grant, of Clifton Hall School, believes schools are ready for a return without social distancing, as now envisaged by the Scottish government, because they had already prepared for a more strict regime.

    He admits that it is difficult to predict what the requirements might be as the science changes ahead of 11 August but tells BBC Radio Scotland: "I would like to see it as it was before, but obviously with some increased hygiene practices in place and some strict adherence to rules over illness."

    Scottish schools had initially been preparing for a combination of home and school learning and Mr Grant adds: "I am more concerned about what education might look like if there is a second wave of the virus in the autumn. Going back to blended learning would be horrific as I don't think kids are enjoying that."

  3. 'Parents and childminders need the restrictions to be lifted fully'


    Also announced today was a childminding workforce support fund of £11.2m to help childminders experiencing financial problems because of coronavirus.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney told this lunchtime's briefing that, if the virus continues to be suppressed, he would expect the "bubbles model" restricting children to small groups will not be needed - nor will a ban on blending, which would allow parents to then use more than one childcare setting.

    Graeme McAllister, the chief executive of the Scottish Childminding Association, welcomes the announcement in principle.

    "We've been moving further and further away from the small group model...and, when schools reopen, its going to be on the large group model," he says. "And what we were really looking for and were arguing for was parity for childminding."

    He says parents and childminders need the restrictions to be lifted fully, not just eased, adding that childminders and other key workers must be able to pick up children from both nurseries and schools.

    "If that's not allowed, it will become meaningless," he adds.

  4. Teachers have hygiene and face covering concerns

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    A teacher disinfects desks in Italy

    Larry Flannagan, general secretary of Scotland's biggest teaching union, the EIS, told Lunchtime Live earlier that there is some apprehension among his members about the government's announcement that there is unlikely to be physical distancing in schools when pupils return in August.

    Jane Peckham, of the NASUWT teaching union, agrees and suggests this "level of anxiety has to be recognised" and suggests concerns are mainly about "the logistics" involved.

    "The lack of physical distancing for young people relies very heavily on all the hygiene measures being in place," she points out. "But, in reality, if you have 500 young people and staff who have to wash their hands or sanitise on entering the building or every time they change a location, that's a massive logistical exercise."

    Ms Peckham also highlights the fact that it is suggested "anyone who wishes to wear a face covering should be able to do so" and thinks that see-through visors should be considered.

  5. Coronavirus: 'No physical distancing' needed for school pupils


    Pupils will not have to physically distance when Scotland's schools return in August, but teachers will, new advice to the government has suggested.

    Ministers have set a target for schools to reopen in full from 11 August.

    A new report from advisers said "no distancing" should be required between pupils in primary or secondary schools.

    But it said staff should stay 2m (6ft 6in) apart from each other, and put on face coverings when coming into closer contact with children.

    Read more here.

  6. 'Having that physical contact makes up for everything else'

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    From tomorrow, people who are shielding in Scotland are to be allowed to stay in holiday accommodation and visit outdoor markets, in a change to advice.

    Couples who do not live together can also meet up without distancing, while the first minister said the need for shielding could be paused entirely at the end of this month.

    Holly McCormack who has severe asthma, lives alone and has been shielding for the duration of lockdown.

    "The biggest change for me has been forming an extended household group and being able to hug my niece," she tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    "Having that physical contact makes up for everything else."

  7. 'Lethal absence of hope' for many of Scotland's jobless young

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Unemployment in Scotland rose between March and May
    Image caption: Unemployment in Scotland rose between March and May

    One man who knows all too well about the struggles of young people out of work is Graeme Armstrong from Lanarkshire.

    He has turned his life around after years of being involved in gang culture and drugs and has written a book about his experiences to prevent other young men going down the same destructive path.

    "All the social issues we see come from a lethal absence of hope," he tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    "If you are a young man or woman in our deprived communities, you leave school with no job to go to. We're fantastic at telling young people what not to do, but we never tell them what to do."

    Mr Armstrong would like to see more emphasis on vocational training in schools. "Life skills are as important as academic skills," he says.

  8. Another 15,000 Scots seeking work over lockdown

    Unemployment in Scotland rose between March and May as the impact of lockdown was felt, official figures indicate.

    Scotland's unemployment rate rose to 4.3% in the period, a 0.6% increase on the previous quarter. This was higher than the UK unemployment rate of 3.9%.

    The number of unemployed Scots was up by 15,000 to 120,000. About 28,000 left jobs but were not looking for new work.

    However, the figures were not as high as many feared due to the number of people on furlough.

  9. 'Keep the Heid' - follow the FACTS

    Scottish government
  10. Swinney remarks leave mother confused and concerned

    Drivetime with John Beattie

    BBC Radio Scotland

    John Swinney
    Image caption: Education Secretary John Swinney

    Pupils will not have to physically distance when Scotland's schools return in August, but teachers will, new advice to the government has suggested.

    The Scottish government's revised plan for a return to school has left Anne, who is part of a shielding household with two teenage children, confused and concerned.

    She claims on BBC Radio Scotland that Education Secretary John Swinney appeared to contradict himself after first saying that all children would no longer need to physically distance.

    He pointed out that detailed plans were yet to be drawn up, but Anne says of his answers to journalists: "He specifically said that fourth, fifth and sixth years were termed as young adults and in a greater risk category than other pupils. He then went on to talk about online learning and the possibility of that being used in the autumn."

    Anne, who lives in Aberdeenshire, points out that her fourth and fifth year children previously travelled to school in a 16-seater mini-bus - a journey of an hour each way.

    "You have exposure of your child to other people from 15 other households," he adds. "We are a shielded household and the shielded person is being exposed to all those risks."

  11. UK death toll rises by 66, in Scotland there is one further death

    A further 66 people in the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care has said.

    It takes the UK's official death toll to 45,119 across all settings.

    A further one person who tested positive has died In Scotland in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 2,491 deaths in Scotland by that measure.

  12. UK charities appeal to help world’s most vulnerable countries

    View more on twitter

    An appeal to help the world's most vulnerable through the coronavirus pandemic was launched by the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) earlier this week.

    Fourteen charities - including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief and the British Red Cross - will join together to ask the British public to donate.

    The UK government will double the first £5m of donations.

    Much of the money will go to refugee camps, where overcrowding and poor sanitation allows the virus to spread.

    DEC's website provides more details of its coronavirus appeal and its other current appeals.

  13. Video content

    Video caption: 'Less than 5% of Scots exposed to coronavirus'

    The low level of exposure to coronavirus in the population highlights the risks of coming out of lockdown, it has been warned.

  14. Economy secretary says £100m more for employment support


    Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop says the Scottish government will provide an additional £100m for employment support and training.

    Ms Hyslop revealed at least £50m of that funding will be set aside to help young people get into work.

    Today's job figures showed the number of unemployed Scots was up by 15,000 to 120,000. About 28,000 left jobs but were not looking for new work.

    The measures announced by the Scottish government include a job guarantee for young people, a new national retraining scheme, and more funding to provide immediate assistance and advice if people are made redundant.

    In addition, Fair Start Scotland, the government's employment support service, has been extended by a further two years to March 2023.

    Ms Hyslop has also asked Sandy Begbie to develop an implementation plan for a job guarantee for young people, as recommended by the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery.

    The government will set out more detail on that plan in early August.

  15. CAS says inquiries about redundancy have risen steeply

    Citizens Advice Scotland has said inquiries about redundancy have risen steeply since lockdown was imposed and nearly 750,000 Scots were put on furlough.

    Advice was given on more than 500 occasions in April, nearly 700 times in May and it was given to more than 1,400 people in June, with the July rate running at a higher level still.

    Meanwhile, the number of Scots claiming benefits linked to unemployment has more than doubled since March, according to the latest figures from the office for National Statistics, although they are described as 'experimental'.

    Including those on Jobseekers Allowance, and some of those claiming Universal Credit while seeking work, the number rose from 111,000 in March, to 215,000 last month.

    There was only a small rise between May and June.