We regularly update the information and guidance on our Covid-19 web pages. Some of the information on these pages comes from the Care Inspectorate and some comes from other official bodies involved in pandemic response across social care. We encourage all care services to keep themselves up to date by revisiting these pages on a regular basis. We also encourage visiting other online sources of information and guidance such as the websites of Scottish Government, NHS Inform and Public Health Scotland.

Care Inspectorate guidance for services

Visit our Covid-19 FAQs page for more information.  

Our compendium guide

The Care Inspectorate has developed a compendium of guidance and information in relation to Covid-19.

The compendium focuses on the information that is most relevant to the operation and delivery of regulated care services and is intended primarily to support our staff in advising services. However, the range of information may also be directly useful to services. 

The compendium is regularly updated as guidance is developed and revised.

Archived Updates

You can find older updates on the Archived Updates page.

Updated guidance on self-isolation exemption (Added 18 January 2022)

The Scottish Government has updated the self-isolation exemption guidance for health and social care staff. The updated guidance will be shown on this webpage in due course: Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

The guidance means that staff who are identified as contacts and are fully vaccinated no longer need to undertake a PCR test before returning to work. They should take an LFD test instead. If the LFD test is negative and they don’t have a fever or other symptoms, they can continue to work following a risk assessment by their line manager. They should also continue to take an LFD test every day for a 10-day period.

The guidance clarifies that staff who test positive should pause their workplace LFD testing for 28 days (from day 1 of symptom onset or asymptomatic test date). If they are also required to PCR test weekly, they should also pause this for a period of 90 days.  Please note that the guidance highlights that the likelihood of a positive LFD test in the absence of a high temperature after 10 days is low, so further testing is not advised unless they have renewed symptoms.

The Scottish Government will produce a flowchart and FAQ document in the coming days to support the guidance.

Adult to child ratios and new notification during Omicron (Added 11 January 2022)

Like all services, early learning and childcare settings are operating under unprecedented circumstances due to the pandemic. The Omicron variant will be extremely challenging, particularly in terms of staffing.

To support continued delivery of safe, high-quality childcare for children and families as we move through this stage of the pandemic, we have temporarily adjusted our policy position on adult to child ratios and introduced a new notification.

High-quality experiences for children should be paramount. Adjusting adult to child ratios must only be used when all other options for additional staffing have been exhausted and a risk assessment has been undertaken. Our guidance gives information on the approach to risk assessment and the required notification.

Updated policy on self-isolation for social care workers (Added 6 January 2022)

Scottish Government has issued an updated policy framework setting out self-isolation guidance for health and social care staff. This is as a result of changes to the Covid-19 self-isolation guidance for the general population, which applies from 6 January, following the First Minister’s announcement on 5 January.

The policy framework sets out the conditions that will enable health and social care staff who are Covid-19 index cases (confirmed as positive cases), or contacts of a positive Covid-19 case to exit isolation early, in line with updated guidance for the general population.

As health and social care workers provide care and support to people for whom a Covid-19 infection can present a higher level of risk, additional safeguards will continue for care staff. These include testing regimes, infection prevention and control measures and personal protective equipment. This updated framework replaces the previous version dated 24 December 2021.

Letters to care homes and letter to housing settings (Added 20 December 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued two letters following the First Minister’s Parliamentary Covid-19 statement relating to further population based guidance and measures to take effect from midnight on 17 December to stem the flow of transmission of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

The first letter contains updated advice on adult care home visiting. The second letter contains updated guidance on visiting and social activities within supported housing settings.

Visiting in adult care homes updated in light of Omicron (Added 16 December 2021)

The Scottish Government has issued a letter to adult care homes, setting out updated guidance on visits in and out of adult care homes. This guidance follows the First Minister’s parliamentary Covid-19 statement of 14 December relating to further population-based guidance and measures to take effect from midnight on Friday 17 December to stem the flow of transmission of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

The letter emphasises that visiting and outings from care homes should continue to be supported and the measures that should continue to be in place to more safely enable these. This includes stringent IPC, testing and recommendations to limit the number of households that meet with a resident at any one time to a maximum of two households.

You can read the letter here.

Letter from Scottish Government on isolation for social care staff (Added 13 December 2021)

Donna Bell, Director of Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, has issued a letter with information on self-isolation arrangements for social care staff.

The letter outlines that the current guidance: DL(2021)24 - Update on isolation exemptions for Health and Social Care staff (scot.nhs.uk) for social care (and healthcare staff) should still be applied with one important addition.

This existing isolation policy for staff who are household or passing contacts of Covid-19 positive cases, exempts them from the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days when they:

  • are double-vaccinated
  • are asymptomatic and remain asymptomatic
  • undertake a PCR test (which returns a negative test result before returning to work)
  • undertake daily LFD testing for the remainder of the 10-day period.

An important addition to this is that staff must be

  • double vaccinated and have had their booster.

You can read the letter here.

Letter to all registered childcare providers regarding Omicron Covid-19 variant (Added 10 December 2021)

The Scottish government has issued a letter from Elanor Passmore, Deputy Director of Early Learning and Childcare, to all registered childcare providers. The letter contains an update on the Omicron Covid-19 variant and its potential impact on the childcare sector.

A letter has also been issued from Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, with an education update regarding the new Omicron variant.

Testing update for care home staff in response to Omicron and protective measures (Added 9 December 2021)

In response to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and emerging concerns about transmission, The Scottish Government has asked staff in the adult and older people care home sector to carry out an LFD test on a daily basis in addition to their weekly PCR testing.

Additionally all social care staff are encouraged to consider taking a LFD test on a daily basis, and particularly on the days they are working with potentially vulnerable people.

Staff are encouraged to record their result (positive and negative) on the portal for work based testing kits (issued from care home) or the portal for kits collected at a pharmacy.

Extra test kits can be collected at local pharmacy sites.

The Scottish Government has also released two letters from DCMO (Graham Ellis) and DCNO (Anne Armstrong) on “minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission over the winter period” to adult care homes and care at home, supporting housing and day services.

Further information

Information is available on the NHS Inform website. The key messages for Scotland are:   

  • As part of the Scotland-wide, coordinated response to coronavirus, NHS 24 provides the most up to date information and advice here.  
  • NHS 24 has also set up a dedicated helpline for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms but are seeking information. The helpline number is 0800 028 2816 and is available Monday to Friday, 0800 to 1000, Saturday and Sunday, 0900 to 1700. 
  • People who have travelled to an affected area and have symptoms of a cough, fever or difficulty breathing should stay at home and phone their GP (family doctor), or call NHS 24 on 111 if their GP surgery is closed.
  • People with general questions are advised to visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus in the first instance. This is the quickest and easiest way to get information and it also means that the 111 service is able to help those people with more immediate clinical need. NHSinform includes an interactive self-help guide where people can answer a few simple questions on line to assess whether they need to seek further help or advice by telephone.
  • There is a communications toolkit with information for health and care settings to download, share and print  – please be aware that this is updated as the situation develops so should be checked frequently. Please use the latest version in your setting and update if required. 

NHS 24 has active Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels that are the official social feeds for Coronavirus in Scotland. You can follow these from the links below. 

Health Protection Scotland has also produced information and guidance which should be useful and this is updated at regular intervals.

The Scottish Government summary of response arrangements for coronavirus in Scotland can be found here.   

Other guidance

NHS Inform has published guidance leaflets and posters in a variety of different languages and easy-read format. You can download these from their website here.