Publication - Impact assessment

Test and Protect: equality and Fairer Scotland Duty impact assessment

Equality and Fairer Scotland Duty Impact Assessment covering the three pillars that comprise Test and Protect: testing; contact tracing; and support for isolation.

Test and Protect: equality and Fairer Scotland Duty impact assessment
4. What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

4. What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

A key part of the strategy to reduce transmission is nearing people participate willingly and voluntarily in Test and Protect. Key to meeting this aim is assessing levels of trust an engagement in relation to Test and Protect as well as public attitudes to the Scottish Government's approach to minimising transmission of Covid-19.

To this end, regular public attitudes surveys are carried out, the most recent of which shows that the vast majority of people are aware of Test and Protect and that attitudes towards the delivery of the programme are very positive. Recent survey data also shows:

  • 85% of people are willing to isolate and take a test when showing symptoms; and
  • 83% of people are willing to provide details of close contacts if they test positive.

While these findings are positive, it is recognised that practical and financial support are critical to removing barriers to compliance, particularly for those without family and friends to rely on and those on low incomes, which is addressed through the self-isolation support grant and practical support through Local Authorities.

The Scottish Government's approach to compliance has been built on providing accessible public health information and guidance, transparently setting out the rationale for restrictions and recognising that persuasion is, in most instances, more effective than enforcement which remains a last resort.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides Scottish Ministers with a range of powers, including regulation making powers, with the aim of protecting public health.[5] Whilst aspects of wider societal restrictions have been put into regulations, to date the Test and Protect strategy and the requirements of people to engage in all aspects of testing, contact tracing and self-isolation has focused on encouraging engagement and persuasion through public health messaging.

Encouraging broad public understanding and compliance is essential to the successful delivery of Test and Protect in Scotland by supporting people to access testing; participate in contact tracing and complying with isolation. In developing our approach to marketing and communications, we regularly consult across policy, public and third sector partners to understand language and accessibility requirements, and have worked collaboratively to create and disseminate this information. Our communication division undertaken significant work to ensure our guidance and documents are accessible, and have ensured multiple language versions are available for most leaflets and guidance.

We have also published a range of public and sectoral guidance to support people to understand how Test and Protect applies in various contexts, scenarios and settings which are available on the Scottish Government Website. This guidance is regularly reviewed to reflect policy changes and the emerging evidence base and clinical advice and is regularly reviewed with the involvement of internal and external stakeholders.