Parents, carers and families across Edinburgh are being encouraged take extra care at the school gates when they return this week.
Ahead of all pupils resuming in-school learning from Tuesday 20 April, City of Edinburgh Council shared advice on steps to take to help limit the potential spread of COVID and make sure schools and childcare settings can remain open.
Posters, leaflets and social media posts are encouraging people to wear face coverings, stay two metres apart and to stick to one adult when dropping off and picking up children, as well as discouraging car sharing and urging neighbouring households to make sure hedges are cut back to give extra space.
Every school in Edinburgh has been assessed for improvements to help families physically distance too. Measures have been put in place at every council and independent school where extra space is needed to help people walk, cycle and wheel safely.
Amongst the changes are road closures, prohibition of motor vehicles, widened footpaths or better signage, as well as the removal of guardrails and new access gates to aid one-way systems.
Cllr Karen Doran, transport and environment vice convener, said: “Children and young people across the city will be looking forward to the return to school and a sense of normality, and the chance to interact with their classmates.
“While this is a positive step in the lifting of lockdown restrictions, we must continue to observe guidance and take care when mixing with other people. Over the last year we’ve been working hard to introduce measures outside of every school to help children and carers walk, cycle and wheel safely and easily while physically distancing.”
During February the council also introduced a temporary ‘Quiet Connection’ between Greenbank and the Meadows, providing a safer route for children travelling to nearby schools South Morningside Primary School, St Peter’s RC Primary School, James Gillespie’s Primary and High Schools, Bruntsfield Primary School, Boroughmuir High School and Edinburgh Steiner School.
All primary school pupils returned full-time from 15 March, with secondary school pupils resuming in-school learning on a part-time blended basis. Earlier this month the Scottish Government confirmed all primary and secondary pupils would return to the classroom full-time as part of its easing of lockdown from 12 April (Edinburgh’s Easter holidays run until 20 April), with restrictions in place.
Find out more about the measures to help safe travel and physical distancing outside schools on the council website.
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