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Suspected Covid-19 cases and guest self-isolation: What do I do if a guest develops or arrives with Covid-19 symptoms?

Scottish Government guidance states that:

 In the event that a guest develops symptoms whilst staying away from home, they should immediately book a test through NHS Inform or, if they can’t get online, by phoning 0800 028 2816. 

In accordance with Test and Protect, people with symptoms are required to self-isolate for at least 7 days, and everyone in their household should isolate for 14 days. If the test is negative, everyone can end isolation. If the test is positive, everyone should continue to isolate, and the NHS Test and Protect team will be in touch to start contact tracing. Those contacted through the Test and Protect programme will be required to self-isolate for at least 14 days.  

If guests who are isolating can travel home safely to isolate, avoiding the use of public transport, they should do this.  

In the event that this is not possible, the guest should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team. The guest may be signposted to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 if they need help to isolate and cannot arrange it themselves or through friends and family.

In some circumstances further discussion may be required with the local Health Protection Team and local authority to ensure that the person has suitable accommodation to isolate safely and effectively. 

After the required period of self-isolation, guests and anyone else in their party who has been affected can then return to their main place of residence.

The guidance is set out at a high level to cover a range of eventualities and individual circumstances, but the principles below regarding seeking advice from the NHS test and protect team and avoiding risks of transmission are key[2].

Where is the nearest Test Site?

The NHS will inform the person of the nearest test site.

What happens if you find yourself positive on an island? Will you be allowed on a ferry?  

You would be asked not to use public transport, including ferries, due to the risk of wider transmission to other passengers and crew.

Who would be liable for any costs associated with an extended stay, including any cancelled bookings for future guests? 

If the person can travel home safely, without the use of public transport, they should do so.  If they are unable to do this, and the accommodation is the safest place – then they should isolate there.  They would be liable for costs of an extended stay.  If it is not possible to remain in the accommodation for the duration of the isolation period e.g. because the accommodation is booked for future guests, and they can’t find other accommodation themselves with support from friends or family, the person should discuss this with the NHS Test and Protect team.  There is assistance available for those who may need help to isolate via the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000. This helpline routes the person through to the local authority support team who, in discussion with the individual and the local health protection team, will help identify alternative isolation accommodation.

If a guest develops symptoms in a B&B, must the owner / other guests also self-isolate?

Each case would have to be considered by the test and protect contact tracing team to decide whether there was close contact and a high risk of transmission. 

Does the local authority / NHS have to provide accommodation for the self-isolating guests if they can’t travel home?  

As above, in the first instance they should travel home if they can do so safely.  If not, they will need to discuss the safest option with Test and Protect team.

For the most up to date guidance, check updates regularly.


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