Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support’ strategy, Test and Protect, is now live across the country.

Test and Protect will help us gradually change the restrictions that help to suppress COVID-19 so society can adapt to a new normal.

If you experience any one of the symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must immediately self-isolate for a minimum of seven days.

As soon as you start showing symptoms you should go to http://www.nhsinform.scot or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to get tested.

When contacting individuals who have tested positive, contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they’ve been in close contact with and places they’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time they’ve self-isolated. This information will then be inputted into contact tracing software and used to identify and contact those identified.

The positive individual will not be named by the contact tracer in line with patient confidentiality, unless they agree to have their details disclosed to help the contact tracing process.

Importantly, contact tracers will not ask anyone for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything. The data gathered will be stored securely by NHS Scotland and safely destroyed as soon as possible after the pandemic concludes.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire said:

“I understand that people may be worried about the risks of potential phone scams, but the NHS already has a number of protections in place to stop potential fraudsters and ensure all information is kept confidential.

“Contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify who they are calling by name. They will not ask for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything.

“The tracers will be supported by software which builds on a tried and trusted platform, allowing teams to identify outbreaks and reduce transmission for high risk groups here in North Ayrshire. 

“It is important to stress that tracers will not ask you for any bank details or your medical records. If you are unsure, you can verify calls are genuine by calling the NHS Ayrshire and Arran Contact Tracing Team on 01292 559880 during working hours (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays)”

“Trace and Protect is one way we will tackle this pandemic, but physical distancing and good hand hygiene continues to play a huge role as minimise the spread of infection.”

What people can expect when called by a contact tracer:

Contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify the call recipient by name

Contact tracers will only ask for information about your movements and the people you have been in close physical proximity to

Contact tracers will not ask for personal information like bank accounts, or medical records and will not offer services to you, or try to sell you anything they may send a text message or email to provide links to online guidance and support.

A privacy statement about the use of information as part of contact tracing can be found on the NHS Scotland site.