New self-isolation guidance for NHS staff ‘within days’

Staff in Scotland will shortly receive new guidance on self-isolation if they are a close contact of a coronavirus case.

New self-isolation guidance for NHS staff ‘within days’ PA Ready
The Scottish Government is in discussions about removing the blanket requirement for healthcare staff.

NHS staff in Scotland will shortly receive new guidance on self-isolation if they are a close contact of a coronavirus case, the deputy chief medical officer has said.

Dr Dave Caesar said the new advice would come “in the next day or two”.

On Monday, it emerged that frontline NHS staff in England who are double-vaccinated will be allowed to carry on working in “exceptional circumstances”.

The Scottish Government is in discussions about removing the blanket requirement for healthcare staff to self-isolate when they are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19.

The move would free up medics to deal with pressure in hospitals.

Dr Caesar told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Monday: “We’ve been exploring that with our colleagues in the health and care system, with staff-side representatives.

“We are hopeful to be able to give some guidance on that in the next day or two, perhaps earlier.

“There would be very clear criteria around it – it would be for the essential maintenance of services that otherwise would, if they weren’t there, cause potential harm to patients if they were not able to access them.

“It would be on a voluntary basis, there would be a very strict testing regime around it.”

The changes to the self-isolation rules would only apply to medics who have had “fleeting contact” with someone who has tested positive, he said.

Under the new system in England, certain staff who are contacted by Test and Trace will need to show a negative PCR test before they can resume working, followed by daily lateral flow tests.