Escocia elimina el período de autoaislamiento de Covid 10 a siete dias

Nicola Sturgeon ha cortado el período de autoaislamiento de Escocia de 10 a siete dias, después de la presión sostenida de las empresas y los partidos de la oposición para abordar las crecientes ausencias del personal.

The first minister has softened her government’s highly cautious stance on the 10-day isolation period after data from hospitals suggested the Omicron variant was less medically severe than feared.

Sturgeon also confirmed Scotland would adopt a new rule on taking PCR tests announced in England earlier on Wednesday, to cut the number of PCR tests being taken unnecessarily and conserve supplies. She said the requirement for someone with a positive lateral flow test to immediately book a PCR would be dropped, as long as they did not have symptoms. That new rule will come into force on Thursday 6 enero, en vez de 11 January as in England.

Ministers in England and in Wales cut self-isolation to a week in December after deciding the impact of extended self-isolation on public services and businesses was not outweighed by Omicron’s risk to health and critical care services.

In a recalled session of the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon told MSPs people could end their self-isolation after seven days if they had no fever and had had two negative lateral flow tests.

Close contacts will not be expected to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated, have no symptoms and record negative tests every day for seven days, under the new rules, which take effect from midnight on Wednesday.

She acknowledged the new rules were “more proportionate and sustainable and less restrictive”.

Sturgeon’s move came after Scottish hospitals said their services were under significant strain because of staff absences. ScotRail, the main rail operator, cut hundreds of trains this month and began operating a reduced timetable owing to staff shortages. Hospitality companies and retailers have struggled to stay open, and complained bitterly about the impact on their businesses.

Tiempo Escocia has recorded its highest-ever Covid infections – 20,217 los lunes, a figure partly inflated by results delayed by the holiday weekend – rates of critical illness have remained stable.

Había 1,223 people with Covid in hospital on Wednesday, more than double the number seven days ago, but the number in intensive care has remained stable, a aproximadamente 52 o 53 people a day. Ministers have not stated whether these patients were in hospital because of Covid or were found to be Covid-positive after admission, or for another reason.

Sturgeon told MSPs that five more people had died after a positive Covid test, taking the total number of deaths under that measure in Scotland to 9,872.

The latest Office for National Statistics survey data suggested that one in 20 Scots had had Omicron last week, a figure similar to the rates in many English regions. The rate before Christmas was one in 40.

“The proportion of people with Covid is likely to be even higher than that now, a few days later – and I would anticipate that we will see continued growth in the level of infection as work and school resume after the holiday period,” Sturgeon said.

"En breve, Covid is significantly more widespread now than at any stage in the pandemic so far, and will almost certainly become even more so in days to come. Esto, por supuesto, has extremely serious implications for the NHS and social care. But it also has a severe and increasing impact on the economy and other critical services.”

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