16:42 GMT08 April 2020
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    As the coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic spread across Europe, some countries have taken the initiative to shut down schools to prevent the disease from spreading among school children and staff. So far the UK has refrained from implementing such measures over concerns that children at home would place extra pressure on medical workers.

    All schools in Scotland are to close by Friday this week, Nicola Sturgeon has announced during a briefing at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

    ​​The First Minister said that schools have lost too many staff members to continue to remain open and the government is trying to work out the details of the situation.

    She could not guarantee that the schools would reopen after the Easter break or before the summer holidays.

    The government pledged a £350 million welfare and wellbeing support package for people who have been hit financially or through having to stay home to avoid "unnecessary contact".

    Sturgeon's announcement comes as the Welsh education minister Kirsty Williams said that the Easter break would be brought forward and all schools would close by Friday at the latest.

    There are now 227 confirmed coronavirus cases in Scotland and a third patient in Scotland diagnosed with Covid-19 has died.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland
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