Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect

Last updated: 6 Dec 2021 - see all updates
Published: 18 Feb 2021

Information and support for people who are asked to self-isolate because of COVID-19, including the Self-Isolation Support Grant (£500).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect
Care home/social care workers

Care home/social care workers

If you are a care home or social care worker and have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you should follow the same self-isolation rules as the rest of the population.

You can, however, return to work by agreeing to take lateral flow device testing, and inform your manager of the results for up to 10 days after exposure to Coronavirus.

A close contact is a person who has been physically close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, for example someone you live in the same house as.

Returning to work and ending self-isolation

You would be expected to return to work from self-isolation if all of the following apply:

  • you are double vaccinated, with the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to exposure to the case
  • you have no COVID-19 symptoms (a symptom guide is available on NHS inform)
  • you return a negative PCR test taken after exposure to the case
  • you agree to take daily lateral flow device testing for up to 10 days on return to work, and inform your manager of the results
  • you only have contact with patients who are deemed to be low risk clinically or work in another setting which does not involve contact with patients
You must not return to work if all of the above do not apply.

During the ten-day period after exposure to Covid, even when all the conditions are in place, you should not return to work with people who would be deemed high risk clinically. This would include:

  • high clinical risk residents in care homes
  • people being cared for in the community who are on chemotherapy immune-suppressants such as pre/immediately post-transplant
  • those who have profound immune-deficiency
  • other high clinical risk patients who are not vaccinated

This list is not exhaustive and local line managers may determine other groups as fitting within the high clinical risk category. You can, however, return to work with those who would be deemed clinically low risk.

Returning to work

When returning to work, you should:

  • take extra care, and ensure you continue to follow all of the infection control guidance in place for your workplace
  • limit contact with high risk groups within ten days of exposure to Covid as part of the mitigation advice that is also issued to the general population

If you do not agree to take daily LFD testing, then you should not work in any clinical setting during the isolation period. Alternatively, your manager may deploy you to another setting (e.g. administrative, which does not involve any contact with clients).

Supporting staff

How providers should support staff returning to work

If you are a care home or social care provider manager, you can support staff returning to work by:

  • ensuring they understand that they must meet the conditions set out by Public Health Scotland
  • discussing the role that they will being returning to which will differ from their substantial role if the staff member declines daily LFD testing

First published: 18 Feb 2021 Last updated: 6 Dec 2021 -