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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Exams cancelled for first time since 1888

    John Swinney

    Education Secretary John Swinney told BBC Scotland's Drivetime with John Beattie: "I think the fact that the exams are not going to go ahead this year, for the first time since 1888, is an indication of the gravity of the situation that we face.

    "Exams have been held every year in Scotland in May or June, even throughout the two world wars, but they won't be held in 2020.

    "I think that's an indication of just how serious a situation we face."

  2. Homeless shelter closed due to coronavirus

    Glasgow's Winter Night Shelter has closed with immediate effect due to COVID-19.

    One user of the shelter and one of its staff have tested positive for the virus.

    The Glasgow City Mission, which runs the shelter, says it was not an appropriate accommodation solution during a pandemic.

    They said they hoped the COVID-19 outbreak was going to be a "turning point for the way in which we approach the accommodation of all vulnerable people who have sought a safe haven in Scotland".

  3. Coronavirus: This is not a drill

    Brian Taylor

    BBC Scotland Political Editor

    This, as Nicola Sturgeon pointedly reminded us, is not a drill. This is for real.

    As the first minister knows and appreciates full well, that lesson has already been thoroughly absorbed by those who have fallen ill, by those who have tragically lost loved ones and by those whose livelihoods are in jeopardy.

    To that extensive list, we must now add school pupils and their parents. With solemn demeanour, the Education Secretary John Swinney announced that he was cancelling Scotland's certificate exams for this year.

    Instead, pupils will be awarded qualifications based on other material - such as prelim exam results, course work and teacher assessment.

    Read more from Brian here.

    John Swinney and Nicola Sturgeon
  4. Seafood firm's Spanish and French markets collapse


    A seafood company in the Western Isles says it has been hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

    Barra Atlantic, which is heavily reliant on exporting its produce to Spain and France, says orders have collapsed.

    Managing director Christina MacNeil says the island economy could suffer serious damage.

    The company is freezing what it can but Ms MacNeil said: "Once the freezers are full we cannot go any further and we have to stop the boats from going out fishing. Then there will be no work for the processors."

  5. Ferry firm CalMac suspends new bookings

    CalMac ferry

    West coast ferry operator Caledonian MacBryane (CalMac) has stopped taking new bookings on all of its services up to and including 15 July.

    The company will also stop serving hot food on board its ferries to free up its staff to crew the vessels.

    CalMac said it was currently able to operate to its normal timetabled service, but added that it needed to plan ahead for any impact the coronavirus may have on its operations.

  6. Food and drink body in plea for 'key workers' status

    The Food and Drink Federation is lobbying the governments at Westminster and Holyrood to include its production and technical staff within the scope of "key workers".

    The industry body hopes this will help get them priority access to childcare.

    There are growing concerns that school closures will make it impossible for many parents to go to work.

    food production staff
  7. Coronavirus: 'No evidence of link to temperature'

    BBC World Service

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has said there is as yet no evidence that the spread of coronavirus is reduced in Africa because of the higher temperatures there.

    The virus has so far multiplied more slowly in Africa than in Asia or Europe, but 34 African countries have now reported a total of more than 600 cases.

    Health experts have stressed the need to prepare for a significant spike in infections.

    The head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, warned that flight and other travel restrictions would help delay the virus - but would ultimately fail to contain it.


    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus in Africa: What impact could virus have on the continent?
  8. All visiting suspended at Dumfries and Galloway hospitals

    Giancarlo Rinaldi

    South Scotland reporter, BBC news website

    Dumfries Infirmary

    NHS Dumfries and Galloway has taken the decision to suspend all visiting times for inpatient wards in all hospitals across the region.

    It said it was to limit the spread of coronavirus and to protect vulnerable patients.

    The health board said it knew patients and families might have concerns but hoped they would understand.

    It said some exceptions could be made but only in "specific circumstances" such as patients receiving end of life care or those accompanying partners during childbirth.

  9. Should childminders keep working?

    It's an incredibly difficult situation for people providing childcare.

    Nurseries, which are obviously slightly different, have been told they should follow the advice to close. They tend to look after a larger number of children.

    You look after a much smaller number of children in your own home.

    There's one extra bit of advice which has been given to schools in the last week which might help you.

    If during the day you think a child is becoming unwell, you should take their temperature. if you're anxious about it they should be in a separate room from the other children until they're picked up. And the advice to schools has been to open windows for extra ventilation.

    parent and child
  10. TRNSMT festival 'to go ahead as planned'

    Organisers of the TRNSMT music festival in Glasgow are still planning for the event to go ahead in July, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

    They say they will continue to monitor the situation.

    TRNSMT festival
  11. How will final year university students complete their degree?

    Tory MSP Graham Simpson tells the education secretary that thousands of university students do not know about their end of year exams and how they will complete their courses if they are in their final year.

    Mr Swinney says the higher education minister is in contact with universities to ensure measures are in place to allow students to complete their courses.

  12. What will happen to resits?

    Tory MSP Michelle Ballantyne asks about resits for "those who don't pull their socks up" until the final exams.

    The education secretary jokes that judging by Tory MSP Edward Mountain's response he was one of those - and he adds consideration is being given ensuring children have the opportunity to have their work assessed fairly.

  13. Two prisoners test positive for Covid-19

    HMP Kilmarnock

    Two prisoners at HMP Kilmarnock have tested positive for Covid-19.

    The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said the two inmates have not required hospital treatment.

    Any prisoners showing symptoms are required to self-isolate within their cells for seven days.

    An SPS spokeswoman said the current policy is that visits to the prison continue as normal.

    Another 28 prisoners across Scotland are showing symptoms.

  14. What about pupils due to leave P7 and enter S1?

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon asks about pupils transitioning from primary to secondary, suggesting many P7s will be entering school tomorrow wondering if this will be their last day at their school.

    Mr Swinney accepts the government will need to get around to thinking about these issues, though he is "not thinking about the end of June quite yet".

    He says we cannot have young people missing out on the "precious experience" of leaving primary school and moving seamlessly to secondary school.

    Independent MSP Mark McDonald, whose child has additional support needs and is due to move to S1 in September, asks about flexibility at the start of the next year for a longer lead-in transition.

    The education secretary says he will give consideration to this.