New rules for self isolation

covid sign on high street

COVID self-isolation rules will change in Scotland from midnight tonight (5 January).

Under current rules, those testing positive for Covid must self isolate for 10 days. Changes announced by the First Minister include an option for individuals to end self-isolation seven days after testing positive for Covid, provided they have no fever and record two negative lateral flow tests. The first negative test must be taken no earlier than six days after initially testing positive, with the second taken at least 24 hours after that.

Fully vaccinated close contacts of a Covid positive individual will also no longer need to self isolate. From midnight, individuals over the age of 18 years and four months who are fully vaccinated – including a booster dose – can continue to leave their homes even if identified as a close contact. Under the new rules, close contacts will be required to take a lateral flow test each day for seven days. Unvaccinated adults and those still to receive their booster must continue to isolate for ten days and take a PCR test.

The Scottish Government has also announced changes to the testing requirements for self isolation.

In response to the current high covid infection rate, those with a positive lateral flow test will no longer need to confirm their infection with a PCR test before self isolating. From midnight, individuals with or without symptoms who test positive on a lateral flow device must self isolate and inform NHS Test and Protect. The First Minister said the risk of a false positive lateral flow test sits at around three in 10,000, meaning treating a positive lateral flow as confirmation of Covid is “the safest thing to do”.