Covid Scotland: 10 day isolation period is 'cautious', says Linda Bauld ahead of Nicola Sturgeon update
Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, the University of Edinburgh Professor referenced evidence stating people can be fairly confident they are not infectious if they get two negative results, even before the 10 day mark, stating that Scotland’s approach therefore was a “cautious” one.
The evidence – published in a study just before Christmas from the UK Health Security Agency – used a modelling method to guide governments on the pros and cons of reducing isolation periods.
Following this England reduced its period to seven days for fully vaccinated people, provided they test negative on days six and seven.
Prof Bauld said the study suggests that while the risk of transmission wasn’t zero, only around 15 per cent of people will still be infectious after the seventh day.
She said: “If you've got two negative tests consecutively, you can be more confident you're not carrying the virus but at the moment Scotland, unless we hear differently from the First Minister today, remains 10 days and that's a cautious approach.
"Even on day 10 you still have around 5 per cent of people who might be infectious based on this modelling study, but it's significantly reduced from what it was earlier in the infection.”
Prof Bauld went on to discuss the negative impact thousands of self-isolating staff have on the economy saying it is a key factor in why places such as England have reduced their isolation periods.
She continued: “If you've got 10’s of 1000’s of cases, as many countries do at the moment, then you've always got proportions of the population who are not able to work.
"We've seen your ScotRail reducing their services because people are isolating. We've got schools returning in Scotland this week and of course worried that we won't have all the teachers that we need.
“So think it is about saying well, what's the difference between the societal harm of disease transmission, against the individual harm of being isolated and the harm to key services, and that's what different countries are balancing out"
Nicola Sturgeon is facing numerous calls to ease the pressure on businesses, travel and education across Scotland by reducing the isolation period.
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