Test and Protect - Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, support' strategy - is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community.
This strategy will help us to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible. This will save lives, help us avoid a return to lockdown, and support society and the economy to be as open and safe as possible.
Test and Protect's approach is designed to help us interrupt chains of transmission in the community by identifying cases of COVID-19, tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with them, and then supporting those close contacts to self-isolate for as long as needed, so that if they have the disease they are less likely transmit to it to others.
The 'test, trace, isolate, support' approach is an important public health measure that many countries have or are putting in place to ensure low levels of transmission of the virus in the community in the next phase. This may include self-isolating. If you are asked to self-isolate, self-isolation guidance can be found on NHS Inform.
Family, friends and neighbours are able to help many people who need to self isolate. A range of business offerings are in place to offer immediate help and there is support available from local authorities for people who are at risk and do not have people near to them who are able to help.
In Scotland, we will continue to ask people who have symptoms of the virus, and their household members, to self-isolate. The NHS will also now be asking people to self-isolate who do not have symptoms but have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed by testing to have the virus.
Self-isolation is different from the physical distancing measures everyone in Scotland has been following, even as restrictions have changed and more activity outside the home has become safe.
If you are asked to self-isolate, you should stay at home for the whole time the NHS asks you to.
This will be hard for a lot of us, when we feel well and can see other people being able to go outside for exercise. But it is vital to the success of Test and Protect to bring down levels of transmission of the disease that we follow the instructions the NHS gives us, and that we stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives. As new variants of the virus appear, self-isolating when asked remains as important as ever.
This guidance is to help you think about how to self-isolate effectively if you need to.