HERMITAGE Academy pupils are being urged to take Covid-19 tests to limited the spread of the Omicron variant.

Today (Thursday, January 6), school pupils at the Academy, and across Argyll and Bute, returned after the winter break.

They were advised by the Scottish Government to do a lateral flow test the night before or on the morning of their return to class.

Pupils are now being urged to do lateral flow device (LFD) tests twice a week and to record the results on the government's online portal.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “It is our absolute priority to keep schools safely open and minimise further disruption to learning.

"To achieve that, we need the help of the whole school community.

"Taking lateral flow tests before returning to school, and continuing to test regularly will help prevent outbreaks of the virus.

“By testing regularly and following the mitigations, pupils and staff can all play their part in keeping themselves, their families and their schools safe.”

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith said: “With Omicron spreading so rapidly, it is vital that we all do what we can to limit its transmission.

"Rapid lateral flow testing helps us to find infectious cases that might otherwise have been missed, as around one in three people with COVID-19 does not show classic symptoms.

“Those aged 12-15 are being offered second doses of the vaccine from this week and I would urge them to take up the offer.

"Drop-in sessions will be available for this age group from January 3, while those who have already been given a date for their second jag can call a helpline to bring their appointment forward and get protection from the virus earlier.”