Classes at a Western Isles primary school have been placed on hold after a teacher tested positive for coronavirus just days on from lockdown restrictions being eased in the area.
As a precautionary measure, Gaelic classes from P3 to P7 at Balivanich Primary School, Benbecula, will close until Thursday, November 26, and pupils will be taught remotely.
The nursery, Gaelic classes for P1 and P2 and all three English classes will remain open.
The measures came into force following a thorough investigation by the NHS Western Isles Public Health team.
Health officials have now reissued important safety advice to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
An NHS Western Isles spokeswoman said: “NHS WI is reminding local residents that Covid-19 is very infectious and spreads easily but also can have serious complications for some people.
“So it is really vital that we help protect our community and each other by keeping to the guidance and observing the restrictions that are still in place.
“These include household restrictions, limiting travel, and avoiding car sharing where possible; alongside the personal behaviours of physical distancing, washing your hands and wearing face coverings in public areas.”
The announcement comes just days after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon relaxed coronavirus restrictions on the island.
Islanders are now allowed to meet with other households indoors in groups of up to six people.
In light of this positive case, residents are also being encouraged to be hyper vigilant when travelling to and from the mainland.
The health board spokeswoman added: “We are now asking that anyone who has travelled from areas with higher levels of Covid-19 infection on the mainland (such as most of England, the central belt and many other countries) in the preceding 14 days limits their contact with other island residents and should not meet with another household in a private home for a 14 day period from the date of their arrival on the Western Isles.
“We would also ask people who need to travel for essential reasons to and from the mainland to be extra vigilant for symptoms – notably the characteristic ones for Covid-19 infection: of fever, or new continuous cough, or loss or change in sense of taste or smell.”
Concerns were last week raised over the safety of Scottish schools after official figures showed a rise in coronavirus-related absences.
The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, highlighted the growing number of pupils and teachers infected with Covid-19.
Official figures show 29,486 pupils were absent from school on Tuesday due to Covid-19 – an increase of 28% on the previous week’s figure of 23,034.
For teachers, the number was 1,559, which represents an 18% increase on the previous week’s figure of 1,326.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Our members are increasingly concerned by the week-on-week increase in the number of pupils and staff being infected.
“This, coupled with the increase in the numbers self-isolating, is having a significant impact on education provision and is raising anxiety levels over the effectiveness of safety mitigations in our schools.”