Covid Scotland: Scottish Government will 'consider' isolation reduced to seven days, says John Swinney
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said the Scottish Government will consider action taken in England to reduce the Covid isolation period to seven days as he urged people to reduce social interactions.
People in England infected with coronavirus can now take two lateral flow tests to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to seven days.
It is not yet clear if Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland will also introduce this reduction to the isolation period, but speaking on Wednesday morning, Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government will consider it.
Asked whether the Scottish Government could ease pressure on NHS services by reducing isolation, he told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme: “A measure of that type would contribute and we will of course consider the proposition that the United Kingdom government has brought forward.
“There are options that can be taken forward about the self-isolation arrangements which can do exactly what you say of trying to ease pressure for public services.”
The Deputy First Minister said that the government ‘must act’ to slow down the circulation of the virus and agreed that reducing the isolation period would help.
Mr Swinney claimed that the rise in Covid cases will cause “significant absence levels from our private and public services” which “brings into question the sustainability of these services”.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said those infected with the virus can take two lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on day six and seven of their isolation period, which if negative means they can stop quarantining.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new advice should help “reduce the disruption to people’s everyday lives”, and urged everyone to get the booster jab.
The Deputy First Minister also urged Scots to ‘restrict their social interactions’ and to ‘stay at home more than they would normally do so’.
He also said he understood ‘how precious’ a Panto is to families as a ‘one-off Christmas event’ and urged those attending one to restrict going to other events.
Mr Swinney said: "We are saying to people, ‘If you are going to go to the Panto, don’t go to anything else.’
“Protect your evening at the panto but don’t go to other socialising events which are maybe not as crucial as taking your family to the Panto.”