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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-30992

Date lodged: 29 July 2020

Question

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its understanding of the communicability of COVID-19.

Current status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 30 July 2020


Answer

The four Chief Medical Officers of the United Kingdom have reviewed evidence and analysis on the communicability of COVID-19. They have concluded there is a low risk in some cases that an individual confirmed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be capable of transmitting the virus between seven and nine days after the onset of symptoms. The four Chief Medical Officers have therefore each made the decision for their countries that the period of self-isolation required of people confirmed through a test to be infected and who are not admitted to hospital or are not in a care home should be increased from 7 days to 10 days. This clinical decision by the Chief Medical Officers is being announced and implemented on a four nations basis, and will go into effect from today.

Anyone who receives a positive test result from today onwards should follow guidance to isolate for at least 10 days, and for at least 48 hours after any fever subsides. People currently isolating should continue to follow the guidance in place when they began isolation: to isolate for at least 7 days, and for at least 48 hours after any fever subsides. If symptoms other than cough or anosmia persist beyond the isolation period or worsen phone 111, or if it is an emergency phone 999.

This change does not affect the isolation period for people who have tested positive and are in a hospital or care home setting where Health Protection Scotland guidance should continue to be followed and will be updated where appropriate. It also does not change the isolation period for people who live in the same household as an index case, are the close contact of an index case identified through Test and Protect, or have arrived in Scotland after travelling from a non-exempt country, which all remain at 14 days.