First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said a mass roll-out of rapid coronavirus testing is still “quite some way” from being a reality.
The First Minister was asked about plans for tests that could deliver results within a few minutes rather than having to be sent to a laboratory.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier mentioned a mass testing system in which those with a negative result would get a 24-hour “pass”, allowing them to attend events.
He said: “Under the mass-testing proposal you’d essentially get a pass to say ‘for the next 24 hours we are confident that you’re not infectious’. You might still be incubating it and get ill a week later.”
Mr Hancock added the UK Government is looking into technology that could allow tests to be turned around “essentially on the spot”.
Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on Monday, Ms Sturgeon said her administration is in discussions with the UK Government about a rapid testing system.
She said pilot work is under way.
“We are as keen as anybody to see these kinds of scientific developments give us more solutions to Covid than we have right now,” the First Minister said.
“But we have to be realistic, we are still quite some way from that being a reality on a mass scale across the country.”
Discussing a vaccine, she said: “We all hope there will be an effective vaccine as quickly as possible.
“But we cannot right now bank on it, just as we can’t bank on some of these other scientific developments.”
Mr Hancock said a Covid-19 vaccine is most likely to be ready in the early months of next year.
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said research around a vaccine for the virus looks promising.
He told the Scottish Government’s briefing: “The signs at this stage in relation to the development of a vaccine are very encouraging.
“It’s important that we continue to plan for the presence of a vaccine – but we shouldn’t rely wholly on that.”