Going to the islands next week? Get yourself tested for Covid, says Nicola Sturgeon
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People heading to the islands are being asked to test themselves for coronavirus before travelling.
The First Minister announced on Tuesday that rapid Covid-19 tests would be made available to anyone in Scotland and to those planning travel to the islands.
Anyone planning to travel to the islands next week once restrictions are eased from Monday can order a free home test kit online. The first test should be taken three days before travel and the second on the day of departure.
From Monday, lateral flow home test kits will be available to anyone in the wider population who does not have Covid-19 symptoms. They can be picked up from local walk/drive-through test sites for people to test themselves twice weekly.
Anyone in Scotland who develops Covid-19 symptoms should still self-isolate and book a PCR test.
The expansion is aimed at finding cases that would otherwise go undetected, so those people can self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to those around them.
Nicola Sturgeon said: “The changes that come into force next week have been hard earned by all of us. I know that many will be looking forward – quite rightly – to their first drink in a beer garden, to catching up with a friend in a café, or to going on holiday somewhere in Scotland.
“But even as we enjoy those moments, we still need to be careful. We must remember the virus is more infectious now than it was when bars and cafés were last open, so we must still stick to the rules. However, we are hopeful of seeing sustained progress in the weeks and months ahead.
“We are keeping island communities in Level 3 at the moment, so that we can allow travel between those communities and the rest of Scotland. If you are planning to travel to an island and do not have Covid-19 symptoms, we will encourage you to take two lateral flow tests before you depart.
"This is an important way to reduce the risk of bringing Covid-19 into island communities. If you are travelling to an island next week, it is possible to get tests from today, and I would encourage you to do that.”