Health officials looking after Clydebank gave different Covid-19 isolation instructions to those in the rest of the country, it has been reported.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) told local authorities that contacts of positive coronavirus cases would not need to self-isolate if they had been infected themselves in the previous six weeks.

But investigative news organisation The Ferret reported that the Scottish Government guidance does not include a six-week exemption.

NHSGGC did not respond to The Ferret’s questions but said: “Our Test and Protect service carries out individual risk assessments for contacts of positive cases, so advice may vary from person to person when all relevant circumstances are taken into account.”

West Dunbartonshire Council said the self-isolation exemption had only been used on two occasions.

Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for West Scotland, said: “We know that self-isolation is extremely challenging, and the limited information available suggests most people who should be isolating are not doing so. Scottish Government guidance is clear on this and consistently applying it is essential.

“Self-isolation is not an area where ‘local flexibility’ should apply. The approach deemed most effective should be taken across the country, without exceptions.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “There has been no change to national guidance on self-isolation, however local health protection teams may implement measures which differ from national guidance if it is decided locally, following a risk assessment, that such measures will assist with the handling of specific outbreaks.

“In these instances, people should follow the local health protection team’s advice rather than the national guidance.

“We will continue to review national policy decisions as we continually review the scientific evidence and our understanding of the virus improves.”