The Scottish Conservatives have repeated calls for clear answers on the closure of schools, with Ruth Davidson saying people have become tired of "time-limited firebreaks stretching into months."

The Scottish Conservative leader at Holyrood asked Nicola Sturgeon whether schools and nurseries would reopen on January 18 or stay closed indefinitely.

In the Scottish Parliament today, she asked: "Can the First Minister tell parents at home what the likelihood is that children will return to school and nursery from 18 January or do they need to start preparing now for a long haul of blended learning at home?”

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In response, Ms Sturgeon said it was a “priority” to open on 18 January but said it was too early to know.

Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson said: “Parents, pupils and teachers deserve as much clarity from this government as is conceivably possible. But they are not getting it.

“This bombshell announcement on Saturday evening forced people to cancel Christmas plans and find ways to balance work and childcare well into the New Year.

“This is having a significant impact on families and for some it will be about being able to work and pay the bills.

“Yet almost a week later, we have had no meaningful updates, just the same vague assurances we heard again today."

Meanwhile, Scottish Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvie welcomed the delay to the new term, and stressed that many teachers had not felt their safety was a priority.

He asked Ms Sturgeon whether the call for widespread routine testing would be actioned.

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The Frist Minister responded that she accepts many teachers felt their safety has not been prioritised, but refuted the idea that that was the case.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed that plans were being developed for more mass-testing in schools, and that the effectiveness of lateral flow testing was being investigated.

On Saturday the Scottish Government announced that schools across Scotland would remain closed after the Christmas holiday due to a new strain of coronavirus

All other pupils will receive ‘blended learning’ from home starting a week later on 11 January.

The earliest date on which schools will reopen is 18 January but the Scottish government have not said if that will happen.