Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 16.30, 25 May 2020

Scottish Government guidance on Coronavirus

For all national guidance please see advice on the links below:

As recovery begins, it's likely that Scottish Government advice will vary from that provided by the UK Government for English regions, to take account of local factors. For current advice for Scotland, please follow the guidance provided by the Scottish Government.

For all national guidance please see advice on the links below:

Scottish Government

Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making - Scotland's route through and out of the crisis

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

NHS Guidance

Shielding and protecting the vulnerable - Coronavirus

Shielding is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). It's also for their family, friends and carers.

More about shielding

Coronavirus testing

The Scottish Government has announced the further expansion of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to include anyone over the age of 5 and a broader range of key workers delivering essential services.

The testing initially covered health and social care workers as well as emergency services and the prison service but this has now been widened so that anyone over the age of 5 and those categorised as key workers who are showing symptoms, as well as members of their household can now be tested.

Where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a care home all residents and staff, whether they have symptoms or not, can also be tested. 

Key workers and other groups now able to access testing:

  • Anyone over the age of 5
  • Staff delivering NHS services, providing social care to protect and care for the most vulnerable
  • Staff with face-to-face roles in residential institutions with people in the care of the state
  • Essential workers in critical national infrastructure fundamental for safety and security, and life-line services. This includes defence personnel, environmental protection, animal health and welfare, funeral industry and staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools, food supply chain and food processing workers, and workers on medicines and pharmaceutical supply, chemicals supply, energy and water supply
  • Staff directly involved in delivering other essential services. This includes staff providing child care for key workers, public transport workers, postal services, financial services, supermarket workers, construction and essential public services, court and Crown Office staff
  • Staff involved in volunteering, or in nationally or locally significant industry important to economic sustainability and growth
  • Anyone who goes out to work because they cannot work from home - for example construction workers - and who has symptoms
  • Household members of the above groups will also be eligible for tests where they have symptoms. 

More on testing for key workers.

Test, Trace, Isolate, Support

Read the full Scottish Government document here - COVID-19: A Framework for Decision Making

So, what is it?

The approach is designed to interrupt the transmission in the community by identifying cases of COVID-19, tracing the people who may have become infected by them and advising them to self-isolate.

  • Person experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and self-isolates
    • Initial assessment undertaken online or by phone, and a test arranged if appropriate.
      • Process to identify close contacts begins.
        • If positive - contact tracing used to identify close contacts and support them to isolate for 14 days.
        • If negative - the person no longer needs to self-isolate and contract tracing is not needed.

What is contact tracing?

Anyone who tests positive will be asked to provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with.

For COIVD-19, this includes everyone who has been less than two metres away from a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.

This will be carried out manually by specialist teams over the phone, online via a webpage or by downloading an app to your mobile phone.

Is this the only measure we need?

No, it will not be effective on its own. It needs to be used alongside other public health measures such as physical distancing, good hand and respiratory hygiene - including appropriate use of face coverings - and disease surveillance.

Will this affect me straight away?

Test, Trace, Isolate, Support is initially being introduced with contacts of priority groups, such as patients and NHS and social workers.

This will then be broadened out as testing capacity increases. The Scottish Government estimates that 15,500 tests per day will be needed.

What has to happen for it work?

  • Effective disease surveillance.
    • There is a need to understand COVID-19 in Scotland and identify patterns in disease activity, such as local outbreaks.
  • Early identification and isolation of possible cases.
    • Everyone must be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, and understand what they need to do themselves to support the"test, trace, isolate, support" approach.
  • Early and rapid testing of possible cases.
    • An available test for everyone who needs one, regardless of whether they can travel to a drive-through test centre, need to be seen by a healthcare professional, or can self-administer a test at home.
  • Early and effective tracing of close contacts of a confirmed case.
    • This involves people providing information about who they have been in close contact with, supported by dedicated staff as required and technology where appropriate. This process may start before the person has their test result.
  • Early, effective and supported isolation of close contacts.

What happens if I need to self-isolate, but don't have the space or support?

Work is underway to develop plans for providing the support that is needed to enable people to isolate effectively, which may included isolating in another location from your family or receiving food and essential items to your home.

The Scottish Government will work with the UK Government to ensure that between individual employment rights and the social security system, people are able to secure any necessary financial support needed if self-isolating as a result of contact tracing.

If I self-isolate once, will I need to do it again?

Potentially yes. If you have been in close contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms, then you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. If they test negatively then your isolation can end at that point.

If you are then in contact with someone else who develops symptoms, you will have to follow the isolation process again.