Coronavirus (COVID-19) state of the epidemic 26 May 2022

This report brings together the different sources of evidence and data about the Covid epidemic to summarise the current situation, why we are at that place, and what is likely to happen next.


This report summarises the current situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in Scotland. It brings together the different sources of evidence and data about the epidemic in Scotland at this point in time, why we are at that place, and what is likely to happen next. This updates the previous publication published on 13 May 2022[1]. The information in this document helps the Scottish Government, the health service and the wider public sector respond to the epidemic and put in place what is needed to keep us safe and treat people who have the virus.

This edition of the State of the Epidemic summarises current data on Covid-19 at a national and local level, and how Scotland currently compares to the rest of the UK. It looks at the vaccination program in Scotland and its impact. Information is provided about variants of concern and what impact these may have. Bringing this information together in one place gives the opportunity to better understand the current state of the epidemic in Scotland.

This week, the State of the Epidemic report is published on Thursday 26 May 2022, rather than on the usual publication day of Friday, to accommodate The Queen's Official Birthday holiday in Edinburgh and Dundee.

The State of the Epidemic report this week will summarise the situation up to and including 24 May 2022. Due to changes in reporting and testing, certain data sources will have earlier cut-off dates than 24 May. This is highlighted throughout the report in the footnotes of the relevant sections. In addition, to accommodate the earlier State of the Epidemic report publication this week, we present the Covid-19 Infection Survey results released last Friday, 20 May 2022, relating to the week 7 to 13 May 2022. These are the latest available results at the time of publication. The next release of results remains at the usual time of 12:00 noon on Friday 27 May 2022, when an article will be published on the Scottish Government website[2].

We are currently considering the appropriate frequency and content of this report, if you have any feedback please contact

Changes to Testing Policy in Scotland

Please note that patient testing requirements changed on 1 April 2022, which may mean a reduction in asymptomatic cases of Covid detected and a corresponding decrease in Covid related occupancy and admissions. Following the publication of the Test and Protect Transition Plan, the LFD Universal Offer for asymptomatic testing came to an end on 18 April 2022. In addition, on 1 May 2022 the purpose of COVID-19 testing shifted from population-wide testing to reduce transmission, to targeted testing and surveillance. Reported cases will no longer be representative of all COVID-19 cases in Scotland, and caution is advised when comparing trends in cases over time. This has reduced the availability and reliability of Covid-19 data and indicators that rely on testing, including cases data, hospital admissions and occupancy data. In this publication, affected indicators have been marked out and highlighted throughout the report.



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