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What to do if you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How to self-isolate, get an isolation note for work, and help your symptoms

Look after yourself and others by following this advice

Testing

Testing is available to people with and without symptoms. It can be done at home, or at one of the many coronavirus testing centres across Scotland.

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate and book a PCR test.

The Symptoms of Coronavirus

The most common symptoms are new:

continuous coughfever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

A new continuous cough is where you:

have a new cough that’s lasted for an hourhave had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hoursare coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Close contacts

You’ll be sent a link to a secure online form so you can share who you’ve been in close contact with or any places you’ve been. The link to the form is unique to you. It’ll be sent to you through text or email.

You may get a phone call if you are linked to a higher risk setting, for instance health and social care.

Read further information about contact tracing

Read further information about close contacts

How to self-isolate

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate.

Self-isolation means staying at home. You should avoid close contact with others by:

not having visitorsnot using taxis or public transportasking a friend or neighbour to get your shopping or arranging for a delivery to be left at your doornot sharing towels, clothes, toothbrushes or razors

You should also rearrange any vaccine or other appointments you have.

Read further information about self-isolation

Support

If you are told to self-isolate by Test and Protect you may be eligible for a £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant. You need a positive PCR test result to apply for the grant. Book a PCR test

If you need support but cannot get this from friends or family, phone the National Assistance Helpline (0800 111 4000) or textphone (0800 111 4114). The helpline is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

It’s also important to look after your mental wellbeing during self-isolation.

Isolation note for work

You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of coronavirus.

You do not need to get a note (sick line) from a GP.

Get an isolation note

Read information about treating coronavirus symptoms at home

Rearrange your vaccine

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, even if you have no symptoms, you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested to get the vaccine.

Rearrange or opt-out of your coronavirus vaccination appointment

PCR testing within 90 days of a positive result

You should not book a PCR test if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days, unless you develop new symptoms.

Read further information about repeat PCR testing

LFD testing within 28 days of a positive result

If you have tested positive, you should pause routine LFD testing for 28 days after self-isolating. Count the 28 days from the day your symptoms started, or the date of your positive test if you didn’t have symptoms. If you’re identified as a close contact during this time, you do not need to test or self-isolate as long as you do not have any new symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. If you do develop new symptoms, self-isolate and book a PCR test.

How long does coronavirus last?

You may still have a cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste for several weeks.

Most people’s symptoms of coronavirus get better within 4 weeks.

However, some people may have ongoing symptoms. These can last for a few weeks or longer. This has been referred to as long COVID.

Read further information about the longer-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID)

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