People with Covid no longer need to self-isolate as restrictions ease further

Scottish Government guidance changes to advise people to 'stay at home' if they are unwell.

People with Covid no longer need to self-isolate as restrictions ease further iStock
Covid self-isolation guidance has changed in Scotland.

People in Scotland are no longer required to self-isolate if they have symptoms of Covid-19.

From Sunday, Scots are instead being advised to “stay at home” if they are unwell, according to Scottish Government guidance.

It comes as Covid-19 infections are continuing to fall across most of the UK, though the virus is still circulating at high levels, figures show.

In Scotland, Covid-19 infections fell for a fifth successive week.

New guidance, applying from May 1, states that people in Scotland feeling unwell with Covid should now stay at home until they feel better.

For those groups still testing, the revised guidance says people aged under 18 who test positive should stay at home for three days, while people aged 18 and older should stay at home for five days. Day one is considered the day after taking your test.

Individuals mid-way through a self-isolation period should follow the revised guidance from 1 May.

Children and young people who are aged 18 and younger who have mild symptoms – such as a runny nose, a sore throat, or a slight cough, – but who are otherwise well, do not need to stay at home and can continue to attend education settings.

They should only stay at home if they are unwell and have a high temperature.

The new guidance, which came into effect on Sunday also says those with symptoms no longer need to take a PCR test.

Furthermore, the changes will see all contact tracing come to an end.

The Protect Scotland app is also due to be closed down, while NHS Scotland was taken off an emergency footing at the end of Saturday.

From May 1, the list of Covid-19 symptoms include high temperature, fever or chills, loss or change in taste of smell, shortness of breath, unexplained tiredness, lack of energy, muscle aches or paints, unusual hunger, headaches, sore throat, a stuffy or runny nose, diarrhoea, and feeling sick or being sick.

However, patients are still asked to only attend A&E if their condition is an emergency, due to the high demand across health and social care.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf acknowledged earlier this week that the country is now in a “different phase” of the pandemic as he thanked the Scottish public.

“Scotland’s Test and Protect programme has been one of the key interventions in our response to Covid-19, the success of which has been due, in no small part, to the remarkable staff and volunteers working in Test and Protect – my sincere thanks go to them,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the Scottish public for their commitment and willingness to engage with Test and Protect when it was required of them and helping to protect their fellow citizens.

“However, we recognise we are now in a different phase of the pandemic. The primary purpose of testing is changing from population-wide testing to reduce transmission, to a targeted response focused on reducing severe harm of the virus.”

He continued: “As we are now seeing a steady reduction in new Covid cases, the NHS will no longer remain on emergency footing after Saturday 30 April. But we must continue with a measured approach to support the recovery and renewal of our NHS.

“This will require balancing capacity of the NHS and the wellbeing of the workforce to respond to increasing demands for urgent care while reducing the backlog of planned care.”

Under the previous rules, people who tested positive were required to self-isolate for seven days.

They could then end their isolation if they had no symptoms and recorded two negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven, 24 hours apart.