Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test, Trace, Isolate, Support

The Scottish Government has set out a plan to minimise the future transmission of the virus: “test, trace, isolate and support”. Once this plan is in place, all suspected new cases of the virus would be tested. If somebody tests positive, that person would be required to self-isolate. Anyone they have been in close contact with will be traced and will also have to isolate for 14 days. The Scottish Government will seek to make sure that everyone has the support they need to make this possible. Details of this plan were published Monday 4th May.

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on May 04, 2020 at 08:25PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 132 votes


  • Posted by susanarabellacook May 05, 2020 at 12:51

    Use uk government app and not one which involves huge amounts of admin
  • Posted by Bonnie50 May 05, 2020 at 12:59

    How can this work if someone who has been contact traced more than once keep taking 14 day periods of isolation away from their employment!
  • Posted by TheDancingDino May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    I think some of the privacy concerns surrounding these apps have:
    a) resulted in their development being delayed, and
    b) caused their function not to be as effective as they could be.

    Ideally, sort out the app and make it do what it really needs to do. This is as follows:
    - Link your phone to your NHS medical record;
    - Allow you to report if you have symptoms and then book you into a test;
    - On receipt of a test, if positive the NHS feeds this back to you via your phone and automatically pushes an alert to your close contacts from the relevant time period telling them to self-isolate and the earliest date by which this self-isolation should end;
    - It should be mandatory to show, via your phone, that you haven't been required to self isolate as a requirement of entry to shopping centres, theatres, trains, etc.

    This approach would have serious privacy and liberty related problems, but this would help dramatically slow the infection rate. To allay these concerns, it could be written into law that such an app must only have a finite life and it (along with its associated liberty restrictions) should cease to exist by a particular date. A 2-week review cycle requiring the authority of Parliament would likely be needed to enable this.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    This is essential in terms of evidence based public health and we need collective support to achieve it.
    Technology needs to be consistent across U.K. and easy to use.
    Evidence on the % of people using the app should be communicated to the public as well as our achievement against that target on a daily basis.
  • Posted by CityScot May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    I would prefer a UK based reporting app as relatives just south of border we would like to eventually meet up with . Also think it would just be more sensible to avoid confusion . With so much information there is a danger that people just switch off entirely and engage with neither app scheme . This is beyond party politics or views of how we would ultimately want to see our nation going forward in the future- we must be careful not to confuse the needs of managing the pandemic with other political views we may hold .
  • Posted by PeachesHumph May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    Use of mobile phone apps will exclude a large amount of non technical people including the elderly, many of whom do not own mobile phones, many people will not download apps due to security / privacy issues
  • Posted by lornski11 May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    How can children be tracked and traced if back at school? Do we just decide not to trace them and if so, does that mean they don't need to bother isolating?
  • Posted by helen May 05, 2020 at 13:16

    We know the current list of symptoms is woefully inadequate. We have known for a long time that it is not just a fever and sustained cough. Why not impose self isolation on anyone that has any symptoms whatsoever. There are so many people who have had various symptoms but think they haven't had the virus because they didn't have either or both of the above. Without proper testing and antibody testing we will never know so just isolate anyone that is unwell, regardless of symptoms
  • Posted by GillyWhite May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    If using an app, that uses Bluetooth, phones are going to be more vulnerable from a security point of view - a different kind of virus.

    While I understand how the use of bluetooth will be useful for the type of app being suggested I think the security issues around bluetooth need to be explained and be part of informed decisions that people make when using an app.
    The privacy issues need to be fully addressed, explained and again informed choices allowed to be made.
    I would probably use it but would want to have knowledge about what exactly the risks are both to my security and privacy.

    The system needs to be robust and re-usable in any future similar situations - not something that has been rushed into just to make headlines on this occasion. Have systems that are working and in use in other countries been fully investigated?
  • Posted by Johnmdfi May 05, 2020 at 13:31

    If you want to use phone apps you need to consider those living near the border on both sides, do we run two apps?
    Then the Scottish app that expects me to input a contacts phone number is ill conceived. I am near someone on a bus, they are not likley to give me the information required to make tracing work and I don’t want to give my details to a stranger, what about personal safety.
  • Posted by rbfinlayson May 05, 2020 at 13:33

    The UK government stated that the App will not work on older smartphones thus many older people (the most vulnerable) excluded. Any App which is set up for 5G will not allow a considerable number of 3G mobiles. 5G coverage in Scotland is limited with 3G in greater use.
    TTI using an App will still require huge amounts of personnel and the uptake of the app has to be very high to be effective.
  • Posted by chrish May 05, 2020 at 13:38

    The prospect of having a Scottish app plus a UK app could lead to confusion. Whilst technology could be really helpful, I would like us to use our most important resource - the people. There are lots of people who have lost their jobs or are on furlough - let's use them (us) to help with TTI (or TTIS).
  • Posted by Flopster May 05, 2020 at 14:10

    Apps may become important for international travel so it’s important that UK residents are not at a disadvantage through use of technology that is not compatible with systems used more widely, which seems is going to be the case. With our relatively poor track record on controlling the virus, it is even more important that any app is seen to be reliable and robust.
  • Posted by petermctiernan May 05, 2020 at 14:24

    Until a reliable mass-population antibody test is available, how can we increase the availability and accessibility of PCR tests so that asymptomatic carriers can be more easily and quickly identified?

    The current policy of restricting tests only to (some) symptomatic cases risks missing a potentially large cohort of unknown carriers. If test kit availability is limited, perhaps an intermittent step can be taken by increasing regular sample testing of people currently (or likely to be) in close contact with many other people in addition to all health and social care workers. This may prevent unwitting widespread infection and provide wider sample data that could be usefully extrapolated to inform ongoing policy. These tests should be home tests to improve accessibility, uptake and reduce cost.

    Finally, as the infective period of this virus remains disputed, it would seem sensible to extend the initial self-isolation period for positive cases to 14 days, especially after any lock-down measures are relaxed.
  • Posted by JaneySue May 05, 2020 at 14:35

    Use the UK app, don’t waste money and time-developing a Scotland only app.

    Not convinced this will work, everyone who gets Covid19 at the moment most likely tell everyone they have been in contact with to self isolate.
    This is no different.
  • Posted by df2105 May 05, 2020 at 14:52

    How about this strategy to get the infection numbers low enough for test trace isolate to work
    Divide entire population into 2 groups A and B. After a week for people to get ready Group A goes Into total quarantine while Group B continues as with something like current lockdown. After another 2 weeks anyone in Group A with no symptoms comes out of quarantine and simultaneously Group B goes into quarantine. After another 2 weeks Group B comes out of quarantine if no symptoms. Now all the people with or potentially with the virus are in quarantine and can come out as they recover. This would need some tweaking to provide emergency key worker services and borders would have to be closed to avoid new infection coming in. But none of these seem insurmountable if it enabled virtual elimination in 5 weeks.
  • Posted by Margaret321 May 05, 2020 at 15:09

    Great idea but must be supplemented by foit soldiers doing manual tracing. Current public health staff plus health visitors, school nurses, health promotion staff, plus new recruits. Lots to learn from other countries. If other countries have a system worth imitating, don’t reinvent the wheel.
  • Posted by MDG May 05, 2020 at 15:10

    New Zealand appear to have got this right. Not a Scottish decision but shocking that UK airports have remained open to inbound flights and folk have just wandered in with no checks, why have we all been doing that when folk can just fly in?

    The reserve armed forces should be deployed in greater numbers as a task group, as we would in a conflict/disaster and allocate them this task. They have the skills, the organisational ability and discipline and I would say the "humour" to engage with the public as they have shown in many conflict areas.

    We missed the opportunity at the start of this to test unlike NZ, Iceland and others and the four nation approach has gradually been less beneficial and clearly had the FM had the powers from the start I think the impact on Scotland would have been less than it currently is. Yes test but make it a Scottish testing system that works for Scotland and one that can work for many years to come.

  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 15:13

    Please agree with UK government approach, having differing systems will cause confusion. Also, for people who have to cross to England would have two systems which would not allow for transparency.
  • Posted by Stirlig May 05, 2020 at 15:40

    As a small business owner, while I agree we need to track and trace, I do not see how this will work for the self-employed. When our business is eventually allowed to re-open (cafe) we cannot self-isolate for 14 days every time a customer who has been in and then develops symptoms triggers the system. If we have practiced social distancing then having to close for 14 days at a time over and over again is not practical or financiallly viable. We would be better to stay closed until next year.
  • Posted by Suze1 May 05, 2020 at 15:41

    Depends what close contact means. If I've just passed them in the street then it seems a bit extreme.
  • Posted by rdevine May 05, 2020 at 15:43

    Scotland should adopt a hybrid approach based on what's currently being proposed + the Apple/Google app. We can't rely on people either having a smartphone, or being willing to download an NHS app, so the current proposals make sense. The Apple/Google app is being adopted across Europe, so the UK is out of step on this, and the idea that the NHS will develop an app with security to match Apple's is laughable.
  • Posted by jimmcbride May 05, 2020 at 16:17

    I believe the concept behind T,T,I,S is robust if it's being used to track, say, the propagation of a sexually transmitted disease from known intimate contacts. However, given that the rules of the current lockdown are based on near isolation and social distancing of at least 2m., how is one supposed to trace backwards when the source of contagion is most likely in a shop, on public transport or in a large work-based office environment from unknown people.
    Also, if the source of contagion is suspected to be from a party, a beach B-B-Q, or breaking the lockdown rules in general, are individuals going to own up through TTIS with the possibility of prosecution or being stigmatised?
  • Posted by mklayne May 05, 2020 at 16:24

    Make sure that it's actually people that you've been in significant proximity to - 15 minutes less than 6 feet - otherwise the algorithms will go crazy. Also, people will not take their phones places, etc. to avoid it - I think it's not going to help things.
  • Posted by lynnemcm May 05, 2020 at 16:39

    Although I appreciate the importance of isolation I don’t imagine employers will take kindly to individuals potentially having to isolate on numerous occasions. Similarly this could be catastrophic for self-employed.
  • Posted by jimmcbride May 05, 2020 at 17:04

    The First Minister suggested yesterday that TTIS might be integrated with the new Coronavirus Contact Tracing app, currently undergoing field trials on the Isle of Wight. Whilst this must be every technophile's dream, I believe the use of Bluetooth technology is not without problems.

    Until now, the scientists tell us that social distancing beyond 2m. is adequate, which creates no hardships on most streets and supermarkets, providing we observe caution. However, Bluetooth radiation extends considerably further than the distance a coronavirus aerosol supposedly travels and it would appear that on streets, in shops or from slow passing vehicles, we risk getting so many false alarms as to make the scheme unworkable.

    I believe the algorithms employed in the app process signal strength, duration of contact and angle of signal arrival as an attempt to quantify the risk based on the estimated distance between the phones. As to how much information can be extracted largely depends on which version of Bluetooth is installed on the phone. All in, I think it's nice but impractical.
  • Posted by spirrie May 05, 2020 at 17:41

    TTIS is a must.
    Mass testing of households/communities on a regular basis would also be hugely beneficial although difficult to implement. But it would show clear patterns of contagion.
  • Posted by DJW May 05, 2020 at 18:28

    Yes, but please consider a more automated bluetooth app, than the one currently proposed that seems to manual and therefor very much dependant on individuals entering all the detail. can understand why we are not using the app produced by google/apple like other countries.
  • Posted by andyhynds May 05, 2020 at 20:19

      Ironically ,we have already the tools to monitor, within the phone and tablet. Our browsers can follow and maintain the algorithms set by the global companies, though it conflicts with privacy laws.

    I would like to ask a question as to the use of the application. I am informed that it uses the bluetooth technology to interact and monitor with other and the geo location. If that is correct, what would the security measures be protect the unwitting user from exporting their personal data via the blue tooth?

    The applications used to steal data exploits the bluetooth range and limited securities. These then can be interacting with the transport data, such as multimedia in the incar entertainment.

    This also works within the household equipment within the family household. Such as a fridge or coffee maker, with bluetooth access. These can be used to compromise the household securities and thus it could be a daisy chain effect in cybersecurity failure.

    I am not qualified and only a layman in this area of security but I would like a breakdown to ensure that security will not be compromised.

  • Posted by mjkirk May 05, 2020 at 20:35

    I agree with earlier comments that self-declaration of symptoms, without verification by testing, is likely to be problematic with the potential for facilitating malicious behaviour.

    Consider a mischievous individual who visits multiple places, such as supermarkets, where they come into virtual contact with many people. They then self-declare that they are symtomatic and effectively force a large number of people into quarantine.

    While responsible people will be limiting their contact, and only self-declaring if they have symptoms, the malicious actor could visit mutiple locations each day for a week and then self-declare and wreak havoc.

    There needs to be immediate follow-up with compulsory testing of anyone who self-declares so that false alarms can be purged from the system and people who they have been in contact with can be freed from quarantine, provided that they have not been in contact with other potential infected persons.
  • Posted by Dave May 05, 2020 at 20:59

    Agree with all other comments saying we need to use a UK based app.

    I would like assurances about the privacy & security of my data from this app before I consider downloading/using it.

    I'd also like to see the app used in conjunction with a wristband which everyone should have to wear in order to travel on public transport, aeroplanes and the road. Scanning this would confirm if you had tested positive for Corona Virus and should be in isolation - This has been used in several other countries.
  • Posted by Babscox22 May 05, 2020 at 22:26

    Agree on app for UK.

    Agree must clearly show privacy & security and only retain minimal data

    There MUST be testing on anyone logging symptoms and depending on outcome this needs clearly communicated to contacts... this would stop people 14 day isolation if test is -ve
  • Posted by LeyaG May 05, 2020 at 22:51

    I believe that having the 'test, trace, isolate and support' strategy in place will be hugely beneficial in helping to reduce the spread of this virus.
    I am aware that this is a complex task however, but I'm grateful to hear that this is on the way to becoming a reality.
  • Posted by Dunter May 05, 2020 at 23:06

    Happy with the idea of an app using previous developments in other countries, as UK app would appear to have serious concerns around privacy and data retention, as well as reports that it only works if open, and drains battery rapidly when open. I think conventional contact tracing is essential to make TTI successful. Many older people don't have a smart phone, so can't sign up, and privavy/security concerns will deter many others.
    I also think it important that all current restrictions are maintained until transmission is driven down to a level at which TTI can be maintained. Testing must be easily available to all patients/contacts when and where needed to enable us to eradicate the virus (and for those who think this impossible, look at WHO success in the 2014/5 Ebola epidemic). Unless all regulatory and safety requirements are suspended, no vaccine will be available in the next 1 to 2 years. Availability also presupposes our scientific and technical capacity to develop one, which is far from assured, as experience in animal health/vaccine development amply demonstrate.
    And please, to some of the previous contributors on this thread, COVID-19 disease is a public health problem, not an opportunity to score blinkered and foolish political points - look at regional management of the disease within EU countries such as Holland as an example.
  • Posted by adnil May 05, 2020 at 23:14

    I hear too many people worried about big brother watching and worry about how many will download and keep Bluetooth on.

    Either make the app mandatory or incentivise (you download and you can go to x,y, if not you need to stick to the tighter rules).
  • Posted by Jcampbell45 May 06, 2020 at 00:27

    Needed done last month.
  • Posted by Shielder May 06, 2020 at 00:44

    I don't understand why people are so paranoid about the privacy issues on the app when we all know this can currently be obtained by authorities and software providers if they have a need to. If it's ultimately going to be a useful aid it's irresponsible not to use it imo, it will literally help to save lives. My only concern with it, is the minority of idiots who will think it's funny prank to alert the system they have symptoms when they don't, and I don't think this will just be youths who will do this, and the unnecessary anxiety that will cause for many falsely alerted. I would also be concerned about the alcohol and drug addiction groups in society who have limited awareness and will not see hand washing and social distancing as a priority let alone downloading an app. For me these groups will be high risk spreaders and very hard to track. Perhaps a start with the drug dependant group could be a test to see if they are positive before they either receive a prescription from their doctor or receive their dispense from the pharmacy.
  • Posted by ZoeB0120 May 06, 2020 at 07:44

    Definitely agree that an app used by the whole UK would be more sustainable, accurate and effective.
  • Posted by agallego May 06, 2020 at 08:22

    If someone self-reports on the proposed App and is tested negative, it is imperative that those they had been in contact with are notified. This would save people self-isolating for no good reason for 14 days, something that can happen multiple times. Imagine how disruptive this situation would be to the economy and to people's personal life?
  • Posted by Pammylaird May 06, 2020 at 08:57

    Surely the whole of the UK will use the same app and approach that is being tested in the Isle of Wight? Why reinvent the wheel?
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 06, 2020 at 10:15

    This is exactly what should have been done since the start.
  • Posted by SBalfour May 06, 2020 at 11:23

    Manual contact tracing needs to be run nationally. Computer and forms developed nationally not left to individual boards. Would be worth looking at the sexual health system NASH
    I dont know about public health if they have a national system
  • Posted by SBalfour May 06, 2020 at 11:39

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by cluanach May 06, 2020 at 12:13

    When testing is available in sufficient numbers would it be possible to expand the 'bubble' approach to larger units. For example, if there's a small business - something like an architect, lawyers, accountants etc where interaction with customers could be done remotely and all members agree to limit their own social bubbles then testing all members of the bubble would allow the business to function as normal. This could then be expanded outwards by bubbles being coalesced. A similar approach could be adopted for smaller communities - there's lots of communities of under 100 people across the highlands where 'clearing' the community as a whole would make a tremendous difference in exchange for an agreement not to deal with people outside. This might even allow some holiday rental businesses to reopen if visitors could be tested before arrival.
  • Posted by KHD2005 May 06, 2020 at 12:24

    A UK wide app is far more appropriate than just a Scotland one.
  • Posted by DRM May 06, 2020 at 12:44

    the UK app has allegedly been developed by a "pal" of Dominic Cummings and no doubt he will make a few million from it - whether it flops or not!

    It's questionable if we will have enough uptake of this app within our population to make it worthwhile for tracking purposes. If we do want to use one anyway - it would have been better and less expensive for the whole of the UK to use the app developed by the "professionals" Apple and Google. They would be able to manage the process better, including ongoing developments and upgrades. This would also give us more chance of using an Internationally acceptable app which might facilitate future travel by those who are brave enough to do this!

    We'll only make a breakthrough when we have sufficient people employed to work on all phases of the process - but in particular Testing and Tracing, and the sooner the better!
  • Posted by andrewtlloyd May 06, 2020 at 13:32

    Let's not forget to add antibody testing and (I assume) an exemption from any need to self-isolate again for those of us who have had COVID-19. If absolutely necessary, I'll wear a badge (like the TfL "Baby On Board") or carry a certificate (like a Yellow Fever inoculation).
  • Posted by KathMcManus May 06, 2020 at 14:43

    Living in a household with 2 family members who had clear symptoms mid March, antibody testing is surely equally important. Unless this is done, many individuals who have already been exposed to the virus may end up self-isolating unnecessarily, taking time away from work and therefore preventing the economy from getting back on its feet. Community testing should have been available at a much earlier stage in the pandemic.
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 14:57

    Use the UK gov NHS app.
  • Posted by MrsLogan23 May 06, 2020 at 15:02

    This must be implemented ASAP. It should have been the approach from the beginning.
  • Posted by Prospect May 06, 2020 at 15:06

    We support the Scottish Governments proposals on Test, Trace, Isolate and Support. However it is vital that Scottish Government enforce fair work principles on employers. Without the knowledge that people who are isolating will not be financially impacted through loss of pay or jobs then take up will be low and the process will become nugatory. Consultation with employees (through their Unions being most desirable) by employers is crucial in this process. Some people, particularly in high risk environments, may have to isolate more than once,, good employers will accommodate this, bad ones will not. It is therefore essential that the Scottish Government enforces, and where necessary facilitates the Fair Work approach necessary
  • Posted by JsnG May 06, 2020 at 17:13

    I am very concerned about the privacy questions with these sorts of apps. I think far more testing should be carried out, this has always been the case, but this opens up lots of concerns where regular people are vulnerable and a hasty decision on developing an app like this could affect our privacy forevee. The information gained will not be handed back and will be used and sold at a later date.
  • Posted by MsW May 06, 2020 at 17:22

    Requiring care home workers to travel from Edinburgh to Glasgow by private car for Covid-19 testing when they are already symptomatic is not acceptable. This was happening at the weekend. I would respectfully suggest that if such facilities are centralised (and it is astonishing that testing facilities appear to be centralised in Edinburgh and are not available in Glasgow) and not local, and remain that way, then it could be assumed that there is presently no intention or capacity to test and trace properly. If testing facilities are available based on choices made by private care homes for their staff and residents, then questions have to be asked about support and provision of essentials such as testing and PPE available from the SG to the care sector.
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 19:26

    Those asked to isolate in this way must be protected financially and supported to act in the public interest. This would require working with employers and individuals to enable this isolation to happen without detriment to the persons being asked to isolate. This may perhaps happen multiple times. Contact tracing will not succeed without isolation and support. This has already been recognised by Scot Gov. An isolation benefit must be payable to those using existing schemes who receive a notice to isolate.

    SSP is not currently adequate. Company sick pay is not always an option and will place employers under additional stress. They will have to reorganise operations to accommodate changes to staffing and shouldn't be used as the only means of support.

    Isolation will cause continuing unavoidable challenges to services in all sectors. Until a vaccine or treatment becomes available. All non essential sectors should be operating on reduced capacity to allow scope for changes to labour availability. This can include reduced working hours and part time Furlough or a mix of available and furloughed staff.
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 19:42

    Contact tracing will be effective in conjunction with an app but not exclusively because of it. This has already been recognised by Scot Gov. Key to the TTIS effectiveness is the accuracy in the data collected and the interpretation of that data. Public confidence in relation to the full TTIS process is critical to achieving sustainable positive outcomes. Data privacy and protections must be addressed to ensure buy-in to the programme.

  • Posted by Sierra_Sam May 06, 2020 at 20:18

    Testing, tracing and isolation has been credited by the WHO as an effective measure in controlling the spread of Covid-19. Based on that evidence, the Scottish Government would be remiss were it not to pursue a similar strategy.

    While the introduction of any measures of social control will be unpopular, such considerations are secondary when set against the requirement to mitigate the undeniable risk to public health posed by Covid-19.
  • Posted by Bugladycv19 May 06, 2020 at 20:51

    Tracing is the most important thing to move forward safely. We need to find out what %age in the community have immunity. Ab testing is urgent to safely move forward without slipping back and having worst second and third waves of ill health
  • Posted by JohnZed May 06, 2020 at 21:41

    I think you have to give it a go, but remember the Six degrees of separation rule, aka everyone is only 6 connections away from anyone else, and the time lag between contact and symptoms, it may just flood the data and suggest everyone has to self isolate.
  • Posted by Lori May 06, 2020 at 21:53

    Why not just open all the test centres and screen everyone, get on with it rather than debating it. Evidence shows people are walking around +ve with no symptoms. Certainly need to be careful what we wish for cause literally test, track and isolate could shut down community/inpatient health services I currently spend more time at work than I do at home!
  • Posted by tob63 May 06, 2020 at 22:04

    While this is a good idea there are some privacy issues. Also, we need to introduce temperature checks at workplaces as people may have symptoms but not realise it.
  • Posted by Salr May 06, 2020 at 22:41

    I agree with test, trace, isolate and support but if the media reports are to be believed the plan is not very far advanced. I would have thought that it should be in place when lockdown restrictions start to lift. Why is the process not further forward - and why would the Scottish Government use a different app from the rest of the UK? That doesn't make sense as presumably people will be allowed to move between the nations in due course. This kind of thing needs a co-ordinated approach across the nations not a different approach in Scotland. This should not be political.
  • Posted by SuvCameron May 06, 2020 at 22:50

    If possible when doing Covid tests to take enough blood to test for vitamin and mineral levels. This may help assess what causes the virus to be worse for some and not others?
  • Posted by Luscious79 May 07, 2020 at 00:02

    I agree that tti is of great importance, however I had symptoms of covid two weeks prior to the shut down and was told it was probably asthma and spent 7 weeks ill I believe I had it but was not tested. I believe antibody testing as many people as possible would allow people with antibodies to get the economy moving and allow people without to be supported until treatment or vaccine was available especially the vulnerable and shielded groups. I think as easy as it is to cross the U.K. 4 nations borders it’s important that all nations work with the same system and work as one to defeat a common enemy.
  • Posted by TStrachan May 07, 2020 at 01:44

    We really need an antibody test, that way we can rule out anyone who has recovered and concentrate on testing the remainder. Test the general population if they have symptoms but continually test those most at risk of exposure to COVID 19 such as care and NHS workers, thus resulting in earlier detection and less spread?
  • Posted by KayDee3740 May 07, 2020 at 08:53

    Test, Trace, Isolate, Support
    If the use of an app would help to control further outbreaks of this virus then I would be happy to use. I think it has to be a UK wide app and not a different one for Scotland, not sure why we would need to have a different app from rest of UK!
    I understand there may be difficulties with older phones being able to use the app but I still think having some tracing is better than none.
  • Posted by Ossian May 07, 2020 at 10:01

    I would be worried about data protection, and would not be that keen to use the rUK app in its current form. I would want to know exactly how any app works and what evidence it uses to work out your risk, so I can know how risk adverse it is. Will it conciser that masks would significantly reduce how far the virus travels and that adults generally covered their mouths when coughing and sneezing even before this kicked off? Would it conciser if you had already had it and therefore at low risk of catching it again?I have a feeling it may be too risk adverse to allow normal life.

    Whilst I really want to play my part in stopping the virus, I stay in a not very nice flat with no garden. The thought of being effectively under house arrest for 2 weeks, then nipping to tesco and having to spend another 2 weeks locked away again is something I would not be able to cope with. To all those who say I should be grateful and just sit and watch TV I am very happy for you that you can cope with that. I personally need to get exercise and be outdoors in nature to relax and tend not to watch TV as I find it mind numbing and dont like sitting still.

    I would expect access to fast testing if I were to be asked to be in my flat so the timing could be reduced to a few days maximum. Locking down for 2 weeks repeatedly is unsustainable and would result in many additional issues. Other options such as sheilding those at risk should be used instead if fast testing is not possible. We need to learn to live with the virus, not just exist.
  • Posted by Cannygran May 07, 2020 at 10:08

    I feel that, whether TTI involves the support of an app or not, when individuals are identified as having been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they must be required to self isolate on a compulsory basis. I think that the fear of this happening might help make those who are currently taking a cavalier attitude to social distancing think twice before breaking the rules providing a double benefit.
  • Posted by debbiec139 May 07, 2020 at 10:38

    Make any easing of lockdown dependent on a minimum percentage of the population being registered on the government app. Surely that will encourage necessary use.
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 07, 2020 at 11:22

    TTI needs to be in place and is essential prior to any lifting of any lockdown restrictions. Especially in any busy workplaces like construction sites where people nearly always work in close proximity. Without TTI the virus would just kick off again far too easily.
  • Posted by NKTC May 07, 2020 at 11:36

    I am not convinced by TTIS. Like a photograph, the test result for whether someone has the virus or not is just a snapshot of a moment in time. The person could be infected the minute after being tested, leaving them with a false sense of safety and likely to be more relaxed in their approach to hygiene, so in going about their daily life they could unknowingly be spreading the virus.
  • Posted by Molly May 07, 2020 at 11:57

    When has an 'app' been an effective solution for anything? Use it only to supplement a strong testing approach, otherwise it won't work. See NZ's approach - it'll be one tool, but not the only one. And assume realistically that the likely uptake amongst the most vulnerable of our populations will be low.
  • Posted by codenamev May 07, 2020 at 12:13

    Too intrusive to people's privacy, where does it stop ? how much freedom are you willing to trade ? till the point you have none in order to be ''safe'' ?
  • Posted by ElaineA May 07, 2020 at 13:39

    I am very strongly in favour of the idea of a UK-wide App as a key component of COVID19 infection control. It will need to be compatible with smartphones old and new and to be married to a massively upscaled testing system which uses tests that are highly reliable i.e. which deliver statistically few false negative and false positive results.

    Such an App will be useful in the future as well if other infections - for which there is no relatively safe and effective vaccine or drug treatment - have a widespread effect on the population of Scotland

  • Posted by eve3981 May 07, 2020 at 13:57

    Test, Trace, Isolate, Support is a much more practical option than the UK Government idea of using a tracing App on mobile phones. The use of mobile phone apps would exclude a large amount of non technical people including the elderly and those on low incomes, many of whom do not own mobile phones or bluetooth enabled mobile phones. In addition many people may choose not download apps due to security / privacy issues and the excessive drain on their mobile phones battery .
    I would expect the usefulness of a mobile phone app to be about 5%. I would expect a correctly implemented Test, Trace, Isolate, Support network to be about 50%-60% effective.
  • Posted by catriona May 07, 2020 at 14:58

    I don't see how this would work until numbers are much lower, and borders under quarantine control. Worth waiting for Scottish app as we have our own registers and NHS data handling, also worth looking at WHO app for data processing. If we have capacity, ok, but need to keep social distancing, work at home where possible, wear face coverings on Public transport, keep pubs and clubs closed etc.
    For those comments who want to go to England they can presumably download the English app. as well.
  • Posted by catriona May 07, 2020 at 18:19

    (ps), TTIS a good idea in principle- used by all the countries with the lowest casualties
  • Posted by NH May 07, 2020 at 20:24

    Better to have UK app. Need to guard against pranksters saying they have virus and others then having to isolate. Need to have high level of cyber security - wouldn't want hackers to get access to my information.
  • Posted by Alotman May 07, 2020 at 22:48

    Use the uk app. Why have a scottish app and an English app. Waste of money and what happens when eventually people travel between the 2 countries and you come into contact with someone who has the virus but they are connected to the english app. Will we be alerted
  • Posted by lmac8355 May 07, 2020 at 23:22

    I am a pensioner and find technology confusing. I do not take my phone out with me but just use it at home. I don't know anything about Bluetooth but would worry about my security of passwords for banking.
    Think a lot of people like me will find this hard.
    I happy to go for any tests to prevent spread and isolate if I have the virus. However my husband is disabled so he would need help if I have to keep apart from him.
  • Posted by Ideas81 May 08, 2020 at 07:50

    Use one app across uk. But ensure it is backed up with sufficient testing that people (who have symptoms or are advised by app that they have been in contact with someone who has the virus ) can be tested quickly and then only need to isolate if positive
  • Posted by SC2020 May 08, 2020 at 10:11

    I think it’s important that we use the same app as the whole of the UK for consistency. Also, it would be beneficial to have some insight to the app which has already been created e.g a demo on how it works so when we come to using it people are already ahead of the game and know how it will work.
  • Posted by Scully2105 May 08, 2020 at 10:33

    Seems to me a pointless exercise while our borders remain open with no screening and quarantine ?
    Never the less my concerns:
    1) access for most vulnerable group, ability to uptake questionable
    2) privacy during/after use, so many areas for concern here
    3) UK wide or Scotland and the rest of the world ?
    4) Impact on business with employees isolating, revolving door for some in constant contact with +ve individuals,
    5) schools - pupils, teachers again another revolving door for constant contact with +ve individuals
    6) anyone using pubic transport, again constant contact with +ve
    7) percentage of population access and compliance issues
    8) which segments of society will be most impacted by these restrictions on isolating

    so many areas of concern, pressing need to evaluate effectiveness in those countries already attempting to implement. Personally, I will not be participating in any app. I will be wearing a mask (n95) in any vulnerable circumstances ( where distancing is difficult ) in order to protect myself and limit my contagion to the general public.
    Also surely need to remove those infected from their communities to areas set up for quarantine, lots circumstances in a household for cross contamination, there is a definite need for professional management of those individuals, difficult to achieve in a household with no adequate quarantine area.
    Face cover,( airborne, droplet ) hand washing along with social distancing are for me the most effective ways to reduce spread, RN 40 years.
  • Posted by seventyplus May 08, 2020 at 11:16

    Use the Apple/Google app as part of a much larger TTIS strategy, which will need to include a vast increase in testing capacity, and a very large number of contact tracers.
  • Posted by Dwilliams21 May 08, 2020 at 11:23

    Agree. Testing is key. But I fear the response time under a TTIS strategy needs to be much quicker, otherwise a) the numbers who may have been infected will be greater and b) those who may have been infected may not have been self-isolating
  • Posted by zuzan May 08, 2020 at 11:46

    Any app used must be decentralised.

    A centralised app is too invasive and will undermine public support. it isn't compatible with apps used in other countries so will mean UK travellers will have problems abroad as well as not working with those travelling from other countries,

    Any app used must work internationally not just for the UK.

    An app that relies on self reporting could mean many are seriously inconvenienced by someone either purposefully or mistakenly reporting as symptomatic / COVID positive.

    Any app that is used must support a local face face approach for contact tracing. Local is important as the pt in TTI is to control local outbreaks once the overall infection rate is low enough for this the be practicable. We have excellent frontline health and social services skilled people to base this way of working on.

    An app that relies on positive reporting of infection must be test based rather than people self reporting when they think they are symptomatic otherwise it's going to set off so many false alarms that people will begin to ignore the warnings / alerts they receive, effectively a case of the app crying wolf, will undermine public confidence.

    It's really important for public trust to use a decentralised app for this .. this is an excellent model of a decentralised app that ensures privacy and any possible nuisance reporting is blocked (nb where someone self reports to cause inconvenience to others they have had contact with.)

    This is a model for a decentralised app showing how it could work
  • Posted by jbooth May 08, 2020 at 11:54

    Use volunteers in a large warehouse phone-contacting people, asking their contacts then tracing their contacts and then phoning them. Use the antigen testing we already have to find who of these has the virus by sending them for tests. People more likely to isolate properly if they know they definately have it.
    Medicine involves using what technologies we already have, which we know work, to preserve life.
  • Posted by BeataK May 08, 2020 at 13:54

    Great - this is the way forward. Scotland has a small number of cases then this approach would work very well to keep virus under control.
  • Posted by MikeJohnston May 08, 2020 at 15:02

    Tracing is a job for call centres, using off-the-shelf software and all the data that can be found, possibly stretching the edges of legality, security and privacy. Most folk are quite happy to give their life to Google, Facebook, Apple and the rest. The alternative may be fatal.

  • Posted by WBRnotes May 08, 2020 at 19:53

    I think that apps need to be secure, not used for unnecessary ongoing surveillance and able to work with apps from other nations. Also as some have pointed out, no app made to work with 5G alone will be very useful since so many phones are not set up for that (as far as I understand it).

    And I agree with others here that some folks may find themselves repeatedly isolating. Workplaces are not going to be happy about that, nor I suspect will individuals be - although it may be necessary.
  • Posted by DaveMac May 09, 2020 at 00:46

    I read the proposal, here is a quote from the FM

    “ This will not be easy. In this next phase, we will be asking people to self-isolate, not for their own benefit, and not because we know for certain that they have contracted the disease, but in order to protect others in case they have.
    People may face self-isolation not just once, but on repeat occasions.“

    The ramifications to individual liberties from this proposal are profound and unfair. Sentencing individuals to multiple periods of total isolation for 14 days simply on the possibility of infection transmission is ridiculous.

    The only way this could be socially acceptable is if the traced contacts can have an instant test, thus confirming the need for isolation, if infection is detected.
  • Posted by LeeSpoonbyn May 09, 2020 at 08:29

    As capacity for testing increases, testing carers and hospital staff who do not have COVID-19 symptoms should be a priority. We know that people can be contagious and spread the virus for several days before they develop any symptoms, and that a large percentage of people with the virus may show no symptoms at all but can still pass it on to others. Health and social care workers regularly come into contact with people who may be especially vulnerable to the virus- elderly people and people with complex health conditions and disabilities. Many of these service users and patients live in group settings like care homes, where it is very difficult to effectively self-isolate from each other if the virus is brought into the home.

    Once residents or staff in a particular care home begin showing symptoms, it is already too late for testing to be much use in stopping the spread of the virus in that setting. There needs to be an extensive program of regular testing of all health and social care workers, whether they show any symptoms or not. Any staff found to be positive would immediately go into self-isolation for an appropriate amount of time. This would prevent asymptomatic health and social care workers bringing the virus into their place of work, it would prevent outbreaks in settings where the consequences are likely to be most sever, saving the lives of many of our most vulnerable.

    Asymptomatic health and social care workers need to be a priority group in allocating resources for testing- maybe THE priority group. It is the results of these tests that will have the biggest impact. When someone has COVID-19 symptoms, it is sensible to assume they have the virus and take appropriate precautions, unless another cause is determined and COVID-19 ruled out. For individuals with COVID-19 symptoms, testing is only necessary or helpful when it affects what medical treatment they receive. Doctors should be given the authority to decide if a patient needs to be tested in order to proceed with treatment, or if the outcome of a test will not have any bearing on this anyway. It should also be noted that the PCR test is not 100% reliable, and sometimes will give a false negative result, again limiting its usefulness for people already showing COVID-19 symptoms. But as part of a large scale testing programme, any single asymptomatic hospital or care worker discovered, who can then isolate themselves, will have a real positive impact on preventing the spread of this virus.
  • Posted by Pragmatist May 09, 2020 at 08:49

    The isolation part of this needs tweaked as it will not be supported in long term if people who work are expected to take 2 weeks off More than once or twice. It’s not sustainable in the long term.
  • Posted by lggl May 09, 2020 at 11:25

    Think UK approach is important . Also need to sort the testing logistics. At the moment the entire NHS resource is dedicated to Covid19 .......yet people I know who have been tested wait three days for result !!
  • Posted by DaveMac May 09, 2020 at 17:46

    Trace, test, isolate
    The draft proposal for test, trace and isolate is socially unacceptable. I pointed out in an earlier comment, the unacceptable requirement, for contacts to potentially isolate for 14 days, on multiple occasions, without ever knowing if transmission occurred.

    My alternative suggestion is to, trace, test and isolate.

    Tracing, should be triggered only from a positive test. The increase of frontline staff, random community, hospital and care home testing, will provide candidates for tracing. Candidates should be prioritised, based on transmission risk.

    Tracing should identify a very small subset of contacts deemed most likely of contact transmission.

    These contacts, should be asked to increase their social distancing practices and a test should be initiated.The contact should isolate only in response to a positive test.

    In this proposal, contacts might be asked to increase their social distancing practices and be tested, multiple times. They will only be required to isolate, when it is known they are infected.

    I acknowledge, this protocol places a heavier burden on testing. I also understand, that testing is far from perfect, so infected contacts will inevitably be missed. This protocol allows straightforward efficiency analysis of the tracing. This protocol also scales well, when self testing becomes available.

    The app
    I am on record stating my reservations regarding the app’s inability to accurately assess, the real world infection risk, from two phones in close proximity.

    The app, could provide the tracers with useful information allowing improved contact selection and optimum contact test timing. The app, could provide common infection source information, when data analysis is applied to the contacts of multiple positive test individuals, in a time period before testing positive.

    The fact that contact isolation, would only occur after a positive test, might encourage broader acceptance of the app, from the public.

    The self-isolation functionality of the app, could be utilised to capture community data regarding the numbers self isolating. The app could be enhanced with the latest thinking on self diagnosis, thus helping to prevent unnecessary self isolation.

    Key workers should be provided with a suitable means to trigger a test request.

    I feel this alternative protocol provides a better balance of infection control against the restrictions on personal freedom.
  • Posted by wnobrien May 09, 2020 at 21:20

    Start with making testing available to EVERYONE for free
  • Posted by alisonjmthomson May 10, 2020 at 14:03

    Test, trace, isolate, support needs to be done with old fashioned Public Health tracing by staff augmented by use of technology . People need to feel confident in use of any app (and their data) otherwise there will not be enough engagement . The processes need to be transparent regarding privacy.

    Any form of testing should be considered to help establish the spread of virus in the population e.g. a suitable antibody test should it become available. ( although realise may not necessarily mean immunity). It’s important that the general public realise that the present PCR test has a false negative rate of 30% so symptoms should always be taken into account when making a diagnosis of Covid 19.

    Unless you get some sort of idea of where the virus is, there’s a risk of major re-emergence as restrictions are lifted.
  • Posted by YG May 10, 2020 at 20:28

    Complex and challenging and essential - complexities and challenges that should have been faced in mid-March - better late than never,
  • Posted by jeankemp May 11, 2020 at 00:58

    If the Government wishes to eliminate the virus, as opposed to merely suppressing it, then the First Minister' s aspiration of 15,000 tests by the end of May is but a drop in the ocean.

    What we need is a massive community testing campaign (194000 tests per day), supported by a rigorous tracing programme. University labs and other research establishments will be needed to ramp up testing capacity and citizen volunteers can be used to augment the number of tracers.
  • Posted by Nm May 11, 2020 at 10:00

    Testing and contact tracing need to be carried out locally for quick, proactive
    and invested responses. Involve the GPs. I think there will be frustration and compliance fatigue if the aim is management rather than elimination. Google/Apple app or use of Zoe app would be preferable to NHS -UK one.
  • Posted by jbooth May 11, 2020 at 10:21

    An army of volunteer contact tracers, working from their own homes.
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 11, 2020 at 11:06

    Test, Test, Test.

    Putting people in isolation is a crude mechanism. If they have been identified as being at risk through test, track and trace they should isolate and immediately be provided with a test to open the possibility to come out of isolation sooner than the end of the 2 week period.

    A significant increase in testing capacity is required and Scot.Gov must set significantly more ambitious testing targets and resource these more aggressively by the end of the week.
  • Posted by JimByrneScotland May 11, 2020 at 12:18

    This will only work if we use an App that preserves privacy, i.e. not the App developed by the UK Government. The UK government cannot be trusted. I will not use that App and I don't know anyone who will.

    It is possible to have an App that is not centrally managed, i.e. the Apple / Google App. That is the App that should be used.
  • Posted by sconnor May 11, 2020 at 12:58

    This should have been implemented shortly after 'lockdown' was enforced. Local testing sites should be rolled out. Local community halls should be used to test individuals by appointment.
  • Posted by Cathol May 11, 2020 at 13:02

    Everyone in the social/health care sector should be tested on a regular basis, protect those most at risk. Any new cases test, trace. Allow those free from the virus to get to some sort of normality.
  • Posted by jon98 May 11, 2020 at 14:36

    There must absolutely be more testing than we are doing just now. Just under 1400 people tested yesterday is disappointing considering we have capacity for far more. Also, there should be more asymptomatic people in essential roles tested in order to fully understand the path of the virus. Whilst difficulties can exist getting staff to carry out tests and register deaths at weekends, there should be a bit more consistency.
  • Posted by geforse1 May 11, 2020 at 18:14

    This is key to the way forward. Should have been implemented long before now, but better late than never. To be effective the testing needs to be massively ramped up - why has it not been done already? the lack of information on progress is undermining confidence in the Government's ability to actually manage this. I won't use the NHS App due to lack of trust the Government with my data. I would need to see greater clarity on the benefits they claim from using their app.
  • Posted by rptcal May 11, 2020 at 18:37

    This is very important but won't work if there are insufficient or insufficiently accurate tests.
  • Posted by IMcK May 11, 2020 at 20:36

    I'd be keen for the testing component to include a lot of testing of asymptomatic people in key positions (healthcare workers interacting with multiple people per day for example).
    I also worry that the definition of close contact is too narrow, and excludes a lot of potential transmissions.
  • Posted by WendyG May 11, 2020 at 22:13

    Once travel is allowed, the app would need to work across the UK.
    I and probably many others prefer to travel by bus and train to visit family in other parts of the UK. However if there isn't a contact tracing app available, I will drive, rather than risk coming into contact with the virus and not being advised of this.
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