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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Other Key Information

COVID-19 – Changes from 1 May 2022

From the 1 May 2022, most people with coronavirus symptoms will no longer be advised to take a PCR test, and instead the advice will be that if you have respiratory symptoms that could be Covid-19, or another illness – and you have a fever or are unwell – you should stay at home in order to aid your recovery, and to reduce the risk of passing your illness onto others.

Testing remains available to specific groups in order to protect highest risk settings and support clinical care.

As we learn to live safely with COVID-19, there are actions we can all take to help reduce the risk of catching COVID-19 and passing it on to others. These actions will also help to reduce the spread of other respiratory infections. COVID-19 and other respiratory infections such as flu can spread easily and cause serious illness in some people.

Further information on the stay at home guidance and measures you can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 can be found at Coronavirus in Scotland – Gov.scot and NHS Inform

COVID-19

Symptoms of Respiratory conditions inc. COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections are very similar. It is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another respiratory infection based on symptoms alone. Most people with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will have a relatively mild illness, especially if they have been vaccinated.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.

It is particularly important to avoid close contact with anyone who you know is at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those whose immune system means that they are at higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination.

You may wish to ask friends, family or neighbours to get food and other essentials for you.

It is recommended that you:

  • inform people you have recently been in contact with that you are feeling unwell. Letting friends and family know helps them to be cautious about any similar signs or symptoms
  • avoid close contact with anyone you know who is at higher risk of serious illness, especially individuals with weakened immune systems.
  • work from home if you can. If you are unable to work from home, talk to your manager about options available to you.

Testing

Most people no longer need to test regularly if they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests remain available to a limited group of people in Scotland. You can access testing if:

Getting an LFD test

If you are eligible for a free LFD test, you can order online or by calling 119 for home delivery.

You need to be 18 or over to collect or order the test kits.

You can no longer collect LFD tests from your local pharmacy or local test sites, however some pharmacies and other shops are selling them for around £2.00

You cannot use this service to book tests for travel. If you are planning a trip abroad read about international travel testing.

Health and Social Care Employees

Symptomatic Testing

Symptomatic testing is available for staff of adult social care organisations who are eligible for free testing. For details of COVID-19 symptoms and when symptomatic testing is needed, see the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control (IPC) resource for adult social care.

Asymptomatic testing

Staff should conduct 2 LFD tests per week, taking them before they begin work, spaced 3 to 4 days apart. This also applies to care workers who live with the individual they provide care and support to.

Further information can be found here COVID-19 testing in adult social care – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Any concerns regarding testing should be directed to your line manager in the first instance.

Stay at Home

From 1 May if you are mid-way through a self-isolation period you should follow the revised guidance which is detailed below.

If you have tested positive you should follow the revised guidance to ‘stay at home’ for 3 days if you are 18 years and under, or for 5 days if you are over 18 years.  The way that we count these days has changed. Day 1 is the day after you took your test.

If you were identified as a close contact, you should end daily LFD testing on 1 May and you may leave isolation if you feel well. If you later develop a temperature or feel unwell with respiratory symptoms, you should follow the revised guidance to ‘stay at home. Further information can be accessed here testing and isolation.

Coronavirus Helpline

If you have any questions about coronavirus that you cannot find the answer to on Coronavirus (COVID-19) | NHS inform you can phone 0800 028 2816. You can also ask the webchat team. The helpline is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

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