NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted people having to self-isolate under the Scottish Government’s contact tracing scheme will receive support if they need it.

From Thursday, those testing positive for coronavirus will be asked to provide names of people they have been in contact with face-to-face, in their household or less than two metres away from for 15 minutes or more.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Greens co-leader Alison Johnstone asked what help will be available for people self-isolating once the tracing scheme begins.

Johnstone said: “This week’s news has been dominated by the failure of a wealthy and powerful individual to self-isolate but imagine the difficulties faced by those who are not privileged?

“For the self-employed and those in precarious work, isolation may be unaffordable.

“For those who share their homes with families or others, isolation may be impossible.

“For the sole carer of a loved one, isolation may be heartbreaking.”

The First Minister explained the Scottish Government issued guidance to employers and individuals on Tuesday and is discussing with the UK Government what changes could be made to statutory sick pay “to make sure that people don’t lose income”.

Sturgeon said: “Support will be provided largely using the kind of infrastructure we’ve put in place to get support to those in the shielded group, and that could be support accessing food and medicine if there are no family members that are able to do that.

“Or it could be – in extremis – support with alternative accommodation.

“It is absolutely the case that we will require to make sure that anybody who has been asked to go and enter a period of isolation for 14 days gets the support that they need to do it.”

She added: “If you don’t want to face a period of self-isolation then the best way to minimise that risk is not to come into close contact to somebody outside your own household.

“So if you take care not to be within two metres of somebody outside your household, then you are minimising your risk of ever being in the position of getting that phone call from a contact tracer and being advised to self-isolate.”