Parents across the north-east have been told to wear face coverings when dropping off and picking up their children at school.
Those dropping pupils off at school gates across the region have been urged to ensure they have masks in order to comply with new guidelines from the Scottish Government.
Emails have been sent to parents and guardians detailing the new guidance, which has come into force after the area was placed in level two of the Scottish Government’s framework.
It comes as one of a package of measures local authorities and schools have been asked to consider to prevent people congregating at school gates.
These include staggered drop-off times, the opening of additional access points and encouraging parents to park further away.
The latest advice from ministers reads: “Face coverings should be worn by parents and other visitors to all school sites (whether entering the building or otherwise), including parents at drop-off and pick-up.”
Additional Scottish Government documents state: “Whilst it is not compulsory to wear a face covering outdoors it is recommended in crowded situations where physical distancing is not always possible, such as at the school gate or at the entrance to a building.
“In such circumstances you are expected to wear a face covering.”
Both Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council confirmed they are implementing the guidelines at schools across the north-east.
A spokeswoman for the city council said: “This is in line with the new updated Scottish Government guidance for local authorities including Aberdeen that are under level two system of Covid restrictions for Scotland.
“We are following this guidance and all schools will be sharing this information as we progress.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services director Laurence Findlay said: “By working together and adhering to the guidance we can make continued positive progress in suppressing the spread of the virus and hopefully ensuring a return to some degree of normality as swiftly as possible.
“These changes to our daily lives can feel burdensome and inconvenient, but they have been developed in the interests of public safety, using the most up-to-date medical and scientific advice and guidance. I would ask everyone to support their local schools in adhering to the measures set out in the guidance.”
Ron Constable, secretary of the organisation’s Aberdeen City branch, said: “It has been proved face masks are a mitigating factor in preventing the spread of Covid-19, and the EIS would be supportive of the Scottish Government and the councils asking parents to wear them at the school gates.
“If it can reduce infection rates and the potential spread of the virus we are 100% behind it.
“The whole idea is to keep schools open in a way that’s safe for our staff and young learners, and it’s our priority to make sure the health and safety of our members is looked after.
“Any mitigation put in place to prevent the spread of the virus is welcome.”