A payment designed to help those on low incomes to self isolate will be cut by more than half from next week, the Scottish Government has said.
The self-isolation support grant will reduce from £500 to £225 from May 1 after changes made to isolation rules mean adults will have to stay at home for only five days if they test positive for the virus.
Further changes to guidance will also see an end to mass testing – with only a select few able to access free tests – and the NHS taken off an emergency footing after Saturday.
Those applying for the self-isolation grant are among the people eligible for a free test.
Close contacts will also no longer be eligible for the payment, and grants will be capped at three per claimant from May 1.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison announced the shift on Friday.
“From 1 May, eligibility for the self-isolation support grant will change in line with updated self-isolation and testing requirements,” she said.
“We are ensuring people on low incomes can still receive financial support if they need to isolate, providing a transition period until June.
“The grant amount will be £225 from 1 May, reflecting the revised public health guidance which advises people who test positive to stay at home for five days, instead of the 10-day isolation period that was previously in place.”
On Thursday, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf announced a major shift in guidance from the Scottish Government, with the end of mass testing and contact tracing, with Scots instead being urged to stay at home if they feel unwell.
Since its launch in October 2020, the self-isolation support grant has paid out more than £50 million in a bid to ensure low income Scots don’t have to choose between earning money and self isolating.
In February, the grant recorded the highest monthly cost, totalling more than £9.7 million from almost 20,000 approved applications.
In total, 49% of all applications resulted in a £500 award, according to official statistics.
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