Contact tracing is one element of NHS Scotland’s Test & Protect approach. Test & Protect is how NHS Scotland is implementing the Scottish Government’s Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (TTIS) Strategy.

Contact tracing is a well-established public health measure designed to help interrupt chains of transmission of infectious disease in the community.

Test and Protect involves identifying confirmed cases of COVID-19 through testing, tracing the people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with the case, and then supporting those close contacts to self-isolate. This means if they have the disease they are less likely to transmit it to others.

Our role in contact tracing

Public Health Scotland (PHS) is leading on the ‘trace’ element of Test and Protect, working closely with the Scottish Directors of Public Health and in collaboration with local health protection teams.

At the moment most contact tracing is being delivered by local health protection teams. PHS is working to develop and implement a national contact tracing service, with our delivery partners NHS National Services Scotland. The Scottish Contact Tracing Service will further increase Scotland’s contact tracing capacity in the coming weeks and months. A phased roll out of the national service has started and will be fully operational by the end of July 2020.

PHS also leads on the development of digital tools, guidance and training resources that will support the delivery of COVID-19 contact tracing in local health protection teams and the new national contact tracing centre.

To find out more about how contact tracing works visit the Scottish Government’s website.

To get in touch with the PHS contact tracing programme email

Last updated: 25 June 2020