Funeral Industry News
Covid-19: Test and Protect update
On 15 March 2022, the First Minister provided an update on Test and Protect within her statement. We published an update to Covid-19 regulations and guidance on 16 March to provide the link to the updated test and protect transitional plan and update to the funeral industry.
We have now received more details from Test and Protect colleagues about how the changes to Test and Protect will affect the funeral industry.
As set out in the Test and Protect transition plan, given the levels of vaccination and the existence of treatments for Covid-19, the primary purpose of testing is changing from a population-wide measure to reduce transmission, to a targeted measure to support clinical care where required.
Asymptomatic testing will continue in health and social care workforces, to protect those patients or residents who are at higher clinical risk. While some funeral industry workers will have a requirement to attend care homes and healthcare settings in the course of their work, this would not generally involve visiting individuals at higher clinical risk. Therefore, the funeral industry is not included in the definition of health and care settings where asymptomatic workforce testing should continue.
Testing guidance for April and beyond:
For the funeral industry, advice on testing will remain the same until 18 April:
- lateral flows should be used twice weekly even if you do not have symptoms, daily for seven days if you are a close contact of a positive case and before visiting someone who is vulnerable
- If you have symptoms, you should continue to get a PCR test, either at a testing site or by post.
From 18 April, testing advice will change:
- Members of the funeral industry without symptoms will no longer be advised to test twice weekly
Until end of April:
- we will continue to advise using LFTs daily for seven days if a close contact, and on each occasion when visiting a hospital or care home
- we will continue to advise those with symptoms to get a PCR test
- contact tracing of positive cases will also continue.
Where testing continues to be advised, it will remain free of charge.
From end April, the Scottish Government’s intention is to also end all routine population-wide testing and contract tracing. From 1 May, testing will be used on a targeted basis to support clinical care and treatment, protecting higher risk settings, and for surveillance, outbreak management, and responding to significant developments (such as new variants).