Funeral Industry News
COVID-19: Update on duration of self-isolation and on critical worker exemptions to self-isolation
On 21 December 2021, in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the First Minister set out new protective measures. We issued a blog on 23 December setting out how those protections and exemptions applied to the funeral industry.
The First Minister made a further statement to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, 5 January 2022, setting out changes to:
- the public health guidance relating to self-isolation;
- the guidance on confirmation of a positive LFD test with a PCR test; and
- the Critical National Infrastructure scheme for exemption from self-isolation.
These changes came into effect at 12.01 AM today, Thursday 6 January.
Positive cases are still advised to self-isolate for 10 days. However, if the individual returns two consecutive negative lateral flow device (LFD) tests taken at least 24 hours apart with the first test no earlier than day 6 after first testing positive, and if they have no fever, they may end isolation before the end of the 10 day period.
Close contacts (including household contacts) who are fully vaccinated (have had three vaccinations, with the third dose or booster having been received more than 14 days prior) or are aged under 18 years and 4 months, can take daily LFD tests for 7 days instead of isolation – provided the tests are negative and they remain without symptoms. If someone is not fully vaccinated, they will need to book a PCR test and even if this is a negative result, they will need to isolate for 10 days.
Taking a confirmatory PCR test after someone tests positive on a LFD test is now not required to confirm infection. Instead they must follow isolation advice as it applies to them as a positive case (as above). They must also report their LFD test result online so that Test & Protect can commence the contact tracing process.
For those who have symptoms of COVID-19, the advice remains to book a PCR test, even if you have a positive LFD test.
Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) exemption
The CNI exemption scheme is closed with effect from 12.01 am on 6 January as the wider population changes (described above) effectively replicate the exemption enabled by the CNI scheme. The scheme was vital in ensuring that specific critical national industries were able to operate with the requirements around testing and risk ensuring this was balanced with the health and clinical risks to individuals in the workforce.
The First Minister’s statement of 5 January is now available to read.
We again request those attending funerals and related gatherings to continue to do all they can to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 by following all other baseline measures such as complying with the requirement to wear face coverings unless exempt, practicing good hand hygiene, taking LFD tests before attending the funeral and maintaining physical distancing where possible.
Burial and Cremation Team
6 January 2021