NICOLA Sturgeon has stressed that people required to self-isolate under the Scottish Government's new contact tracing scheme will receive support if they need it amid fears the rules could cause confusion for single parents. 

From tomorrow, those testing positive for coronavirus will be asked to provide names of people they have been in contact with face-to-face, in their household or less than two metres away from for 15 minutes or more under the test, trace and isolate system. 

Speaking at First Minister's Questions, Scottish Greens co-leader Alison Johnstone asked what help will be available for people self-isolating once the tracing scheme begins. 

Ms Johnstone said: "This week's news has been dominated by the failure of a wealthy and powerful individual to self-isolate but imagine the difficulties faced by those who are not privileged? 

READ MORE: Fears over ‘test and trace’ with more than 70,000 'missing' tests over two weeks

"For the self-employed and those in precarious work, isolation may be unaffordable. For those who share their homes with families or others, isolation may be impossible. 

"For the sole carer of a loved one, isolation may be heartbreaking." 

The First Minister explained the Scottish Government issued guidance to employers and individuals on Tuesday and is discussing with the UK Government what changes could be made to statutory sick pay "to make sure that people don't lose income". 

Ms Sturgeon said: "Support will be provided largely using the kind of infrastructure we've put in place to get support to those in the shielded group, and that could be support accessing food and medicine if there are no family members that are able to do that. 

"Or it could be - in extremis - support with alternative accommodation. 

"It is absolutely the case that we will require to make sure that anybody who has been asked to go and enter a period of isolation for 14 days gets the support that they need to do it." 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: People could face 'repeated isolation' in test, trace, isolate scheme

She added: "If you don't want to face a period of self-isolation then the best way to minimise that risk is not to come into close contact to somebody outside your own household. 

"So if you take care not to be within two metres of somebody outside your household, then you are minimising your risk of ever being in the position of getting that phone call from a contact tracer and being advised to self-isolate." 

The Greens have raised concerns that the instructions around isolating may be difficult to understand for some and will be particularly challenging for single parents and those in caring roles. 

Ms Johnstone added: “It is welcome that Scotland is finally moving back to contact tracing after it was abandoned on March 12, but it’s important to realise that not everyone has the privilege of a house with multiple rooms or a secure income that will be protected while they do so. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Professor raises 'big problem' with Nicola Sturgeon's test, trace, isolate strategy

“If this system is going to work, everyone needs to have the capacity to isolate safely and fairly, whether that means guarantees from employers, support for self-employed people or hotel rooms for those who find isolating physically impossible. 

“It is also baffling why Scotland is still not testing all front-line health and care staff, when we know that coronavirus is being spread in our hospitals and care homes. This week 24 staff at the Western General contracted the virus and it was linked to just one patient. 

“It’s been over a month since I proposed regular tests for NHS and care workers, and the Royal College of Nursing has also written to ministers to back the call. If the track and trace system is going to work, it needs a robust testing process behind it.”