Updated Covid-19 guidance.
Changes are being made to self-isolation rules in line with public health advice and testing requirements to help maximise testing capacity and ensure a speedier start to the process of contact tracing.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, regardless of vaccination status, must still self-isolate for 10 days. However, from tomorrow, 6 January, new cases will be advised they can end self-isolation if they don’t have a fever and test negative on a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) on Day 6 and again at least 24 hours later.
Triple vaccinated close contacts of those who test positive, both household and non-household, or those under the age of 18 and four months, do not need to isolate as long as they return a negative LFD test result each day for seven consecutive days, and remain fever free.
The intention is for the public to be sufficiently reassured of a negative Covid-19 status during the potential incubation period.
Any close contact who is not fully vaccinated (three doses) will still have to self-isolate for the 10 days and take a PCR test.
Changes are also being made to testing after a positive LFD – people will no longer be asked to take a PCR test to confirm the result.
Instead, anyone with a positive LFD should report the result online as soon as the test is done. This ensures that people can get the advice they need as quickly as possible. After reporting their result, people should then fill in the online form they will receive, so that contacts can also be informed and rapidly given the correct advice.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“When the Omicron variant started to take hold, we strengthened self-isolation requirements, so that all household contacts had to self isolate for 10 days.
“That step was intended to slow the spread of the variant. It also reflected the fact that we knew less about the severity of the virus at that time, and that less of the population had protection from booster and third jags.
“We are now in a very different position – and so we can now adopt different rules.
“These changes are significant, but we believe they are also justified at this phase of the pandemic. They balance the importance of self-isolation – in slowing the virus’s spread and reducing the harm it can cause – with the wider harms to the economy that broader self-isolation rules can cause.”
For background :
You should take regular lateral flow tests if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you get a positive LFD result, changes to testing arrangements mean that you do not need to take a PCR test to confirm this.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (a fever, new continuous cough, or loss of sense of taste or smell) it is important to isolate and book a PCR test – that advice has not changed.
Follow the guidance on NHS Inform on self-isolating and booking a test.
Getting a Lateral Flow Test.
People in Scotland who need a Lateral Flow Test can do so in the following ways:
- By ordering online for home delivery. A box of 7 lateral flow test will arrive within 24-48 hours. Additional booking slots are added throughout the day.
- At over 1,000 Community Pharmacies. People will be able to collect one pack of 7 lateral flow tests. Pharmacies can receive a box of around 60 packs of lateral flow tests each day.
- At over 60 Testing Sites. People will be able to collect one pack of 7 lateral flow tests from any regional or local test site in Scotland.
- At many other collect points established by Local Authorities. Follow this link to find information on additional local sites in your community.
- From where they learn or where they work if in education, health and social care or any workplace with more than 10 employees which have signed up for our workplace testing programme.