Covid in Scotland: Children exempt from some outdoor restrictions

Children and young people will be exempt from some of the lockdown restrictions on group gatherings announced by the first minister.

Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that under-12s will not be included in the limit of six people meeting outdoors and the limit of two households.

It means there will be no restriction on "the ability of younger children to play together outside".

Those aged 12 to 18 will be exempt from the two household limit outdoors.

Ms Sturgeon said they would be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six – but "we will need to monitor this carefully".

"Let me stress, this is outdoors only," the first minister confirmed.

The move was welcomed by charity Children 1st. Its chief executive Mary Glasgow said it would "lift some of the burden and stress on families".

She added that during the pandemic it was "essential" to protect the social and emotional development of Scotland's youngsters.

In the Holyrood chamber on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon acknowledged that for young people, and teenagers in particular, it was a miserable time.

Directly addressing them, she said: "We are trying to give you as much flexibility as we can. In return, please work with us and do your best to stick to the rules, for everyone's sake."

The first minister also issued a warning to parents not to take their children abroad during the October school holidays.

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