Support for measures to prevent spread of virus

Survey on testing.

A poll found a high level of support for testing measures to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The survey, carried out days before NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect was rolled out across the country, showed 91% of adults in Scotland recognised the importance of testing while 89% agreed that staying home helped to save lives. In total 88% said they would want a test if at all possible if they developed symptoms, and 88% would be happy to provide details of people with whom they had been in contact.

Under the system, people will need to isolate with their household as soon as they have symptoms and get tested straight away through If they have a positive test result, they will be asked to provide details of all recent close contacts to NHS contact tracers, and those people will be contacted and asked to isolate for 14 days.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“Test and Protect is an essential step in our response to COVID-19. We are taking this step now because it's the appropriate thing to do for this stage of the virus.

“As with lockdown, we need everyone to take this next step very seriously. They have done this so far, and I am very confident they will step up to show the same spirit of solidarity and care for each other as before.

“It is a collective national endeavour. People will need the help of family, friends, colleagues and employers. But support from us and our local authority partners will be available for anyone who needs extra help to self-isolate.

“If we all agree that some of us will have to stay home at times - when we have symptoms, test positive, or have been in contact with someone who tests positive - we can gradually move away from a situation where everyone has to stay home all of the time.”


Anyone with the symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, temperature, loss or change in sense of taste or smell should go online to to book a test. If you cannot get online please  call 0800 028 2816.

Guidance for the public, including a summary, is available online along with guidance for employers

Those who need extra help with self-isolating can call the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.  It is open Monday to Friday, from 9am-5pm. This helpline is dedicated to helping those who cannot leave their home and cannot get the help they need from family or friends or online. 

The figures quoted were part of a poll that has been conducted on behalf of the Scottish Government.  The research was conducted on the YouGov online omnibus survey from 19th to 21st May 2020  and results are based on a sample size of 1037 adults 18+ across Scotland.  The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in Scotland (aged 18+).

This poll is part of a wider piece of research, which will be published in June.Further detail on the figures quoted above is provided below.

  • 91% agreed that they understand the importance of testing to stop the spread of coronavirus; 6% neither agreed nor disagreed and 3% disagreed
  • 89% agreed that by staying home, we are all helping to save lives; 7% neither agreed nor disagreed and 5% disagreed
  • 88% agreed that if they had coronavirus symptoms, they would want to have a test if at all possible; 8% neither agreed nor disagreed and 4% disagreed
  • 88% agreed that as part of Scotland's testing process they would be happy to provide details of people they had been in contact with if they developed coronavirus symptoms; 7% neither agreed nor disagreed and 6% disagreed


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