North-east school pupils are being urged to download and use a Covid protection app as they return to classrooms.
The app, which was extended in December to include the younger age group, will help youngsters protect themselves and their families from the virus as the part-time return to schools gets under way.
Pupils have been reminded of the importance of not only downloading the app, but making sure that the code provided is entered if a person tests positive.
This then anonymously alerts those who have been in contact with the positive case, meaning they can isolate quicker and stop the spread.
A total of 1.8 million people across the country have downloaded the app, with nearly 40,000 being notified to self-isolate through it.
Susan Webb, director of public health at NHS Grampian, said: “I would encourage those aged 12-15 to consider downloading the free Protect Scotland app, and parents to encourage their children to get the app, if they have a compatible smartphone.
“The app helps support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system, adding an additional means of notifying people who have been exposed to the virus so they can isolate far quicker.
“Whilst the app runs in the background, we’re asking those who test positive and are provided with a code to make sure it is entered.
“Only by doing this can close contacts be quickly notified, self-isolate and get tested, which will help stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, said: “The Protect Scotland app has been and remains a vital tool in reducing the spread of Covid-19, particularly with the new, more transmissible strains in circulation.
“Whilst lateral flow testing is in place for senior secondary pupils and will be extended to S1-S3 pupils after the Easter holidays, the app runs in the background and adds an additional protection meaning pupils will be notified far quicker if they come into contact with someone who has the virus.
“As pupils start to come back together, the more people that use it, the more effective it will be in slowing the spread of Covid-19.”
To download the free app visit protect.scot