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Scotland’s lockdown will be extended until at least the end of February, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

However a phased return of pupils to schools in Scotland could begin from February 22.

Updating MSPs in Holyrood on Tuesday (February 2), Ms Sturgeon said the current restrictions were having an effect, but stressed “continued caution” was required as pressure on the NHS is still “severe”.

A “gradual” easing of restrictions could begin from the start of next month, if progress continues to be made.

MSPs will be updated on a possible relaxation of measures in two weeks.

The First Minister said: “If our progress continues, then I am cautiously optimistic that, as more and more people get vaccinated and with the protection of some of the additional measures that I will cover shortly, we may be able to begin looking towards a careful and gradual easing around the start of March.”

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