THE Scottish Government has today set out new guidance for people with coronavirus symptoms.

From Thursday, the new Test and Protect contact-tracing scheme will come into effect. 

From that date, anyone with symptoms should book a test via NHS24 or nhsinform.scot.

While waiting for the results, you and your household should isolate.

If positive, the Test and Protect scheme kicks in and you will be asked for your anyone you have been in contact with.

As part of that, Nicola Sturgeon said a new digital platform was being set up, where people who have tested positive for Covid-19 can enter details of their contacts online.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The aim of Test and Protect is to quickly identify cases of the virus and then act to break the chains of transmission.”

She described the new system as being “an extremely important tool for us in the months ahead”.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It will help us suppress the virus as we slowly ease lockdown restrictions.”

The First Minister said: “Just like lockdown itself really, this is something that will only have the desired effect if we all do what is required.

“It cannot be seen as optional.”

HeraldScotland:

A public awareness campaign on the new initiative will launch later this week, with information also to be sent out to every home in the country in June.

Ms Sturgeon stressed when supplying information, people’s privacy would be “respected at all times”.

The First Minister said: “The information you provide will be held securely in the NHS, and will be used only for the purposes of tracing your contacts.

“Let me be very clear, it will not be used by the Scottish Government, indeed we won’t have access to the information. All of the work of identifying and tracing contacts will be done within Scotland’s NHS.”

For those who are told they have come into contact with someone with Covid-19, Nicola Sturgeon said their actions would be “vital in breaking the chains of transmission of the virus and stopping the spread”.

Those who are told they have been in contact with an infected person will be asked to self-isolate “immediately”, she confirmed.

If someone gets the call at work, they should go home straight away, “taking care to come into contact with as few people as possible”, she added.

The announcement came after Nicola Sturgeon revealed the latest coronavirus figures in Scotland.

She said that 2291 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive, up by 18 from 2273 on Monday.

The First Minister said 15,185 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 29 from 15,156 the day before.

There are 1200 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of 69.

Of these, 36 were in intensive care, a fall of four.

Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon pledged the Scottish Government will publish guidance for employers “making clear they should support any member of staff who is asked to self-isolate through Test and Protect”.

People may be able to work from home if they feel well enough, but bosses should not ask people to go into work under these circumstances, she added.

And the Scottish Government has been in touch with the UK Government to “ensure that employment rights and entitlement to benefits, including Statutory Sick Pay take account of the fact that people might be off work or unable to attend appointments through no fault of their own”.

Being asked to isolate in this way is “something that over the months ahead could happen to any of us on more than one occasion”, Ms Sturgeon said.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Test and Protect is a really important tool for us in the period ahead.

“The more effective it is, the more of the lockdown restrictions we will be able to lift.”

But she stressed the system would only work “if we all come forward for testing when we have symptoms and if we all agree to self-isolate when asked to do so”.

She added: “Test and Protect is going to require exactly the same spirit of solidarity and care for each other as lockdown has done. It will be a collective national endeavour.”