The Omicron variant and the requirement to self-isolate – 10th December 2021


The Scottish Government has reviewed the requirements to self isolate for the general population In the light of the omicron variant.  This means that people will be required to self isolate for 10 days if they are a close contact of someone with the omicron variant even if they have negative LFD and PCR tests.  On 10th December the government clarified in a letter that social care staff are not required to self isolate in this situation provided that they:

  • Are asymptomatic and remain asymptomatic;
  • Undertake PCR test (which returns a negative test result before returning to work);
  • Undertake daily LFD testing for the remainder of the 10 day period; and
  • Are double vaccinated and had their booster.

This exemption from the requirement to self-isolate has been agreed because of significant concerns about capacity within adult social care.  The high rate of transmission of the Omicron variant would further compound the recruitment crisis if self-isolation for the general population were to be applied.  The Scottish Government has confirmed that supported housing staff who are part of a regulated social care service come within the scope of this exemption.