As pupils, parents and teachers prepare for the return to school after more than four months of lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon said she has been reassured by measures schools are putting in place.

Schools can phase children back this week before a full time return for all pupils by next week.

Ms Sturgeon has said that all other efforts at suppressing the virus, containing any clusters and outbreaks must be done with the goal of getting and keeping schools open.

The First Minister said it is everyone’s responsibility to make that happen.

She said: “I know that there will be nerves and anxiety for children, parents and teachers this week - and I think that is entirely understandable.

“Fundamentally, all of us know that the reopening of schools is essential for children’s education, personal development and indeed I think for their general wellbeing and happiness.

“So what we are doing is trying to ensure that the reopening is safe and effective.”

She noted some of the changes made by some schools to ensure hygiene and safety.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It is worth saying that for students and staff school will feel different to how it was before.

“There will, for example, be a lot more hand washing, some schools will have staggered starts and lunch breaks “

She added she has been “impressed and reassured” by the measures she has seen.

Some teachers remain to be convinced, however.

The NUS/UWT union found almost half of its teachers in a survey did not think it was safe to return.

The union asked 780 teachers and found 45% do not think it will be safe for pupils to return, with 42% uncertain.

Ms Sturgeon said roads and public transport would be busier as schools return and asked people to help reduce congestion.

Buses are operating at reduced capacity and will be busier.

She said:”But if you do need to travel, please walk, cycle or wheel to work whenever that is possible.

And if you need to use public transport or if you need to drive, which will be the case for some people, think about whether you could make your journey outside of the peak times.

“The continued need for physical distancing on public transport, as schools reopen and as more business activities resume, will put more pressure on transport services. So the Travel Safe campaign is intended to help you think about ways in which you can help with that.”

The latest coronavirus statistics showed 29 new cases, 18 of which were in Grampian, where Aberdeen is still under new lockdown restrictions.

Since the localised outbreak in Aberdeen on July 26 there has now been 231 cases in the city.

The First Minister said that 157 were linked to the cluster and officials hae identified 852 contacts form those who have tested positive.

Ms Sturgeon said it was hoped and intended that the measures put in place locally would slow and stop transmission.

She said it was possible the restrictions would remain in place for more than the initial seven days.

There are 267 people in hospital across Scotland with coronavirus, an increase of six.

There are three people in intensive care. And there were no new deaths yet again.

There has not been a death recorded now with a positive coronavirus test in the last 25 days.