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Coronavirus / Self-isolation and PCR test rules to change, first minister confirms

Meanwhile a further 24 Covid cases have been confirmed in Shetland

First minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: ScotGov

PEOPLE in Scotland will able to leave Covid isolation after a week instead of the current ten days if they return negative lateral flow tests and have no fever, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Meanwhile close contacts of positive cases who are either fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 and four months will no longer have to isolate. Instead they will required to take lateral flow tests every day for a week.

Finally Sturgeon confirmed if someone without Covid symptoms tests positive on a lateral flow test they will not need to take a PCR test; instead they can start the isolation process.

Those with Covid symptoms are still advised to take a PCR.

The rule changes – will will come into effect tomorrow (Thursday) were announced by Sturgeon during a meeting of the Scottish Parliament.

She said they were an early indicator as what may be featured in a revised strategic framework which will respond to Covid in a “proportionate, more sustainable, and less restrictive” way.

Meanwhile a further 24 confirmed cases of Covid have been reported in Shetland.

Sturgeon also confirmed that restrictions on large gatherings, distancing in indoor public places and table service will continue until at least 17 January.

Regarding the change in advice for isolation, one negative lateral test must be no earlier than six days after testing positive and the other must be at least 24 hours after that.

The first minister said that “at times of very high levels of infection the risk of a false positive lateral flow result is very low indeed – around just three in 10,000”.

When it comes to the modification for close contacts, ‘fully vaccinated’ means two doses and a booster, or a third dose.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will still require to isolate for 10 days and be asked to take a PCR test.

Sturgeon said that new data suggests that in the week to 31 December one in 20 people in Scotland had Covid.