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Chamber and committees

COVID-19 Recovery Committee

Self Isolation Exemptions

Letter from Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for COVID Recovery, Scottish Government to the Convener on 23 December 2021

Dear Siobhian,

Self-Isolation Exemptions

At this morning’s meeting, I undertook to write to the Committee to provide further information on self-isolation exemptions in response to questions raised by Alex Rowley MSP.

The Scottish Government recently introduced a Critical National Infastructure exemption to minimise the impacts of isolation on key sectors and to improve the sustainability of the current exemptions process. We are taking a sector based approach to reduce the impacts on businesses affected and their employees. Further guidance has been published today and provided to affected sectors to ensure that they’re clear on how they can manage high levels of household contact related absence in a safe way that supports those businesses with resilience. A link to the guidance and further information on how these scheme works can be found at Annex A.

As Professor Jason Leitch mentioned this morning, health and social care workers have an automatic self-isolation exemption for workers identified as household and non-household contacts, provided they meet the eligibility conditions set out in the Policy Framework at Annex B. As of 10 December 2021, this includes that health and social care staff must be double vaccinated and have had a COVID-19 booster, at least 14 days from the last exposure to the case, to be eligible for the exemption.

As I said during this morning’s meeting, I will endeavour to update as early as possible on any amendments to the self-isolation policy in regard to the reduction of isolation period for eligible index cases once a decision has been reached on this matter.

I hope the Committee finds this information helpful.

I am copying this message to the Presiding Officer and SPICe.

John Swinney
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for COVID Recovery
Scottish Government

Associated bill

Coronavirus (Discretionary Compensation for Self-isolation) (Scotland) Bill - Stage 1