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Covid: Self-isolation rules at north and north-east care homes relaxed

Self-isolation rules are changing for care home residents.

The majority of people admitted to care homes across the north and north-east of Scotland will no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

Patients coming from hospitals will not have to go into quarantine if they have had a negative PCR test in the previous 48 hours, or lack any respiratory symptoms.

Those who do test positive for Covid-19 or are close contacts with a positive case will see their isolation period cut from 14 days to 10.

The move is aimed at bringing care home restrictions more in line with those in place for the general public.

Isolation period can be ‘distressing’ for residents

The government also says high levels of vaccination among care home residents is helping with the relaxation of rules.

Social care minister Kevin Stewart says it is an important way of ensuring people have contact with their loved ones.

He said: “We know isolating for longer time periods can be distressing and harmful for care home residents and for their loved ones.

“Reducing the length of time care home residents have to isolate if they catch Covid, or are identified as close contacts, reflects the ongoing risks facing people who live communally, in a homely environment with other care home residents, many of whom have long-term conditions.”

Omicron peak believed to have passed

This week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the easing of restrictions across Scotland.

But some rules will remain in place, including the requirement to show a vaccine passport in some venues – despite calls from some for the scheme to be scrapped.

It comes as officials now believe the peak of the Omicron variant has now passed.

That is despite the number of Covid-related deaths in Scotland rising by 60 in a week – though part of that rise is being put down to a backlog at registry offices from over the Christmas period.

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