LFD testing and Self-Insolation Exemption for Health Care Workers Guidance (Scotland)

20th December 2021

Pharmacy staff are now recommended to increase COVID-19 testing to daily rather than twice weekly as directed in Scottish Government letter DL(2021)51 www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/dl/DL(2021)51.pdf. Test kits supplied to pharmacies for staff testing will change in the next few weeks to Orient Gene 20 (OG20) which have the buffer solution in two stock bottles rather than individual vials. Information on how to use the OG20 test kit is available on the Turas platform.

Scottish Government policy for exempting Health and Social Care workers from self-isolating after a positive PCR test has been updated and is available in full in Scottish Government letter DL(2021)50 www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/dl/DL(2021)50.pdf. Exemption from self-isolation requires all the following criteria to have be fulfilled by staff:

  • double-vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 booster vaccination at least 14 days from the last exposure to the case
  • negative PCR test as soon as possible after exposure
  • not currently self-isolating as a COVID/19 case
  • have no COVID-19 symptoms

If these conditions are not all met including when a staff member declines a PCR test, the staff must not attend work and should self-isolate for 10 days after which point they can return to work if well and no fever for 48hours. The SG letter also explains that people on an approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial should be treated the same as those vaccinated by the NHS programme. If a staff member has been identified as being exposed to a positive contact, they should LFD test daily for 10 days, recording their result on http://www.covidtestingportal.scot/.

Correct PPE use is vital to reducing the need to self-isolate. Guidance on how to use and when it is acceptable not to wear PPE is included in COVID-19 guidance on the extended use of fluid resistant (Type IIR) surgical masks (FRSMs) and face coverings in hospitals, primary care and wider community care  www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-interim-guidance-on-the-extended-use-of-face-masks-in-hospitals-and-care-homes/pages/more-information-questions-and-answers/

Information correct as of 20th December 2021